Day 7

So I’ve made it seven whole days and I’m still alive.  Just two days ago, I was wondering if I would ever get used to the awkward plastic things that have taken up residence in my mouth… but lo and behold, they no longer bother me!  I woke up rested this morning only with one complaint: an achy jaw.  I know exactly why… and it’s not solely from tooth movement; it’s from clenching my teeth!

It’s driving me freakin nuts!  Clench, clench, clench, all. day. long.  Hopefully this will go away soon because it’s taking a toll on my poor jaw… and I can’t imagine it’s good for the aligners either.

In other news, I think my teeth have moved quite nicely in just this short period of time.  Though I obviously can’t see any differences, my bite has completely changed.  In just a week!  Another weird thing that I feel I must point out is how loose my teeth have become.  Since I am the google master (self appointed), I looked this up and apparently it’s all quite normal.

Ya hear that?  Loose teeth are normal… I guess.

And yes, let’s talk about my red bull relapse from the other day.  I truly am trying to quit, okay?  And I’m doing so much better.  To scare myself, I did some more google-search-result-reading. As it turns out, sugar isn’t the main reason the good ol orthodontist doesn’t want me drinking this crap with my aligners in… the acidity is the problem.  Since “the relapse”, I’ve had two red bulls… both with my aligners in.  I figured that since I drink the sugar-free kind, I had nothing to worry about.   Wrong!

Years ago, I used to not give a flying crap about my oral health… flossing? What the hell is flossing??  I tricked myself into thinking that I could actually trick the dentist into thinking that I flossed regularly, if I flossed a few times before a cleaning.  I was such an idiot.  Anyway, I paid the piper and got cavities, of course.  Then I moved away and had to find a new dentist.  One that told me the dire state of my poor teeth… in a not-so-kind way.  In fact, he was a total dick.  Whatever though, because nothing but good came out of it.  I took on the “I’ll show him!” attitude and became addicted to flossing- probably in an unhealthy way.  Side note:  On a normal day, before Invisalign, I would floss a minimum of three times.  Morning, noon, and night.  Now, I don’t even count.

Even then though, you would think that I had never heard of bleaching.  I remember one of the hygienists telling me these exact words (before the dentist filled a cavity), “I’m gonna go ahead and give you this color of resin composite rather than your actual tooth color for when you decide to whiten your teeth… not that you need to or anything, but you know. Just in case.”  I’m actually highly embarrassed when I look back at my wedding photos.  What the hell was I thinking when I looked into the mirror?  My yellow teeth must’ve been acceptable…

Yes folks, that is a zit on my face.  On my wedding day.  My dad took this picture and I’ve left it unedited so we can all marvel at its glory.  Yellow teeth, zit, tan lines, whateeever you’d like to look at.  These days, I prefer to actually take care of my teeth.  Here’s a self portrait trio taken just the other day:

Notice my happy cat.  She loves me dearly.

Anyway, in these pictures, I am in fact wearing my aligners.  You can hardly see them, right?!  My next appointment for trays two, three, and four, is set for the 18th.  I’m pretty sure I’ll be getting my attachments that day which is why I’ve bleached the absolute shit out of my teeth before hand.  I figure that I won’t be able to do it for the months that I have these ‘buttons’ glued to my teeth so why not do it ahead of time?

I bought the 35% bleach gel from my dentist for only $25 and it works way better than the best Crest whitestrips (which work great too, but take longer and only cover your front teeth.)  My only problem is the application.  Here’s how it usually goes:

Step 1:  Remove trays, wipe off slobber from chin, rinse slobber from trays

Step 2:  Apply small dots of bleach to each tooth area in both trays

Step 3:  Run tap water on cold

Step 4:  Snap in only one tray

Step 5:  Immediate damage control!  With cold water and a finger, immediately scrub off excess bleach that is scorching gums on contact

Step 6:  Repeat for second tray

Step 7:  Wait 30 minutes, rinse, and teeth are noticeably whiter.  Smile

Man, I really can’t wait until I have straight teeth.   I think this is all worth it.

Oh, and I’m still cringing after going through my wedding pictures again… thank god for photoshop.

Day 4

Reason #4397 why I’m straightening my grill.

So here it is, the new year and I don’t feel much different (aside from my achy teeth).  After waiting a very long five weeks for my first set of trays, I finally received them last Thursday.  I’ve wanted straight teeth my entire adult existence and I was finally getting my wish.  No more goofy-ass smile, no more stupid-looking smirks when posing for pictures.

So how have my first four days been, you ask?  Quite eventful.  I’m already compiling a list of shit you shouldn’t do with Invisalign… like removing your trays at your table in a fine dining establishment or thinking that replacing beer with 66 proof cinnamon whiskey is a great idea.  Apparently falling off the tailgate of a lifted Chevy, face first into the sand, isn’t exactly becoming of this twenty-seven year-old ‘lady’.   Needless to say, I was the talk of the beach yesterday.

Note to self:  Throttle back on whiskey.

Rewind back to last Wednesday.  I woke up bright and early to get ready for my 10:10 appointment; I was so excited!  I left early enough to make my usual pit stop at the store down the road… for my last sugar free red bull.  This was (and still is) a big deal, people!  During the past several years, I have become more and more dependent on this caffeine laced concoction.  Like a meth addict I would imagine.  And it’s super pathetic.  I know this because all my favorite employees at said store make sure to remind me of that fact every time I drop in for my next blue and silver-canned fix.  But now it is official.  I am using Invisalign to wean myself off of this precious, addicting (and expensive!) liquid.  Go me!

When I arrived at my orthodontist’s office, I downed my drink and found a seat amongst what felt like 100 preteens and their moms.  While surfing facebook from my phone, I waited twenty minutes before I was called back where I waited horizontally for another ten.  When the assistant came back, the conversation went kinda like this:

Assistant: “Hiii, how are you doing today?  Excited, huh??”

Me:  “Yeah!”  <– like a little kid

Assistant:  “Well, unfortunately your aligners haven’t showed up yet but the tracking number says they’re in El Paso as we speak.  I’m sorry, but we’re going to have to reschedule.”

Me:  “…….but… I took off work to be here…” <– only a partial lie

Assistant:  “I’m sorry, hun.”  Which didn’t sound the slightest bit sincere, so I left and waited for a phone call.  Fortunately, my trays arrived the following day and they were able to fit me in.  Yay!

The appointment took all of ten minutes.  The assistant (no, not the one whose gloved fingers I bit during the impression process)     handed me my trays and simply said, “Try em on!”  Both the bottom and top trays snapped right in and my head immediately began to feel incredibly… claustrophobic?  I removed them with ease even though big strings of saliva came along with my new aligners (ew.)  I reassured myself that I would soon get the hang of this. Then I asked to see my ClinCheck video.  Thanks to all my studying up, I was fully confident in acting like I knew what the hell I was talking about.  She then pulled up a computer generated model of my teeth and together we watched as they magically became straight right before my eyes.  I felt like I was looking at someone else’s mouth and not mine… no way could my teeth ever look like that.  Evah.  But it was true… that would be me twenty-seven trays and around fourteen months into the future.

So that was it.  I was ready to go.  I left and sat in my car staring at myself in the rear view mirror for a good five minutes.

My teeth felt very, very weird but what they said was true, you can hardly see them.  Before I took the first step of signing up for this process, I did a lot of reading.  A lot.  On quite a few forums, the word claustrophobic was pretty common.  At the time, I couldn’t imagine my mouth feeling ‘claustrophobic’ but boy do I understand now.  It’s almost as if my teeth are being squeezed from every direction… oh wait, they are.  By 8:00 that night, I was ready to punch myself in the face, and then maybe have some red wine but I did neither.  Dinner was uneventful but I was shockingly surprised at how much my teeth had shifted in just the five hours I had had the aligners in.  My bite felt completely different.  For example, I have this bad habit of biting my bottom lip if my skin feels chapped (gross, right).  Well, after just those five hours, I was able to touch my two best snaggled teeth together… something that I hadn’t been able to do before!

Sleeping is another issue.  I haven’t gotten a good night’s rest since I’ve had these in.  I’m sure this will change but for right now, it’s completely and totally annoying.  I feel like I’m forever biting down on one of those x-ray cardboard things the dentist puts in your mouth.  My jaw also feels just plain ol’ tired… like I’ve been chewing for hours on end.  As I said though, I am quite confident this will all subside sometime soon, I hope.  Twenty-seven trays seems like a long, long way off.  Until then, I’ll do my best to post all the awesome crap that happens to me along the way.