The following pictures point out the key areas in which Aligntech royally screwed up.
Unfortunate for me, I discovered these “flaws” the morning I put them in… and also a week before I moved from South Texas to the East Coast. In other words… It would’ve been impossible to have my doctor order a more comfortable set. I was stuck, and that was that.
Remember folks, this is what they’re supposed to look like (and apparently, what your mouth is supposed to look like mid-treatment too).
I did some more Google searching and didn’t find much on aligners that come from the aligner factory like mine did, however I did find plenty to read from people who’ve experienced sharp edges. Everyone’s solution seemed to be that if you used a nail file to sand down the sharp parts, you could instantly be pain-free and continue on your merry way. A walk in the park. Finito. Done. But for me, that wasn’t so.
Here are a couple words that describe my experiences with aligners #10:
• not funny
• raw patches… you would think that my tongue and cheeks had the herp.
• football player mouth guard… the kind you boil
• gum suffocation
I am now two trays past this ridiculousness, so obviously I managed to power through. If you ever experience this, here are my suggested options: 1. Be pissed. 2. Call up your doc and postpone your treatment a minimum of two weeks while you wait for new ones. 3. Power through like the gladiator you are.
Edit: I’ve since renamed this post “Invisalign Virtual Bite Ramps” because, as I found out, they are not any form of lingual Power Ridges. In fact, to my knowledge, I don’t think there is such thing!
Are these bumps the same thing as “bite turbos”? My orthodontist couldn’t tell me when I asked him six months ago. To be fair, I didn’t specifically ask him this exact question… I asked him what in the world the purpose was for the huge lumps on the backs of my upper aligners. They were preventing my back molars from touching- how uncomfortable!! His answer was, “They help your teeth move.” Thanks, Dr. I., I would never have guessed that. No wonder I suffered from perpetual jaw-clenching. Me: “Touch, molars, please just touch!!!” ::CLENCH CLENCH::
Since then, I’ve done a lot of reading, and though I’m no doctor, I’m going to safely assume that these bubbles are some form of ‘bite ramps’ specific to Invisalign, and preform one of the same tasks that typical bite turbos do when used with traditional braces: they slowly open up my extremely deep bite (I’ve also read that turbos prevent upper incisors from damaging appliances attached to the lower incisors… am I correct?).
A deep bite can be a more severe version of an overbite. Unfortunately, I suffer from this but, hallelujah! Invisalign is now able correct this problem. Here is a more detailed explanation.
Due to my persistent clenching habit, the bumps at the back of my top aligners are pretty beat up by the end of two weeks. My orthodontist suggested I try thinking of other things when I start to clench my teeth, but I find that difficult when the only time I’m clenching my teeth is when my mind is on other things. Once I realize I’m doing it, I stop. Not having your back molars making contact is pretty annoying, you know?! But like I said earlier, the worst part is only the first few days of each set. Thank goodness because I might go nuts.
Luckily Invisalign aligners as we all know, aren’t made of metal… otherwise, I could have THIS torture device in my mouth!!
This video reminds me of the part in a horror movie when the murderer unsheathes his knife and lets it glisten before he stabs his victim.
Anyway, if I had these, it would mean absolutely no removing the appliance for mealtime. I’m so happy I chose Invisalign.
I noticed at the end of my ClinCheck videos that my bite was suddenly being ‘opened’, but now that I go back and watch them again, I see that my bite, from the beginning, has slowly been opening all along. How exciting!! This alone will make a huge difference in the appearance of my teeth when everything is all said and done.
Note: If you’re using an iPhone or iPad, click on my ClinCheck link above and you’ll be able to watch these short videos.
These clincheck videos are actually very ‘kind’ to the actual appearance of my teeth. How? you ask… well it’s simple. Crooked teeth reflect light differently than straight teeth. Even in well-lit places, a tooth that is crooked often appears dark, or even much lighter than the teeth surrounding it creating an uneven look per se. Just check out my profile photo:
Reason #4397 why I’m straightening my grill.
So moving on… I also have power ridges on the outsides of two of my upper teeth. If anything makes my aligners noticeable, it’s these little light reflectors.
Now, I’m not exactly sure of the technical term for my ‘lingual bumps’ but I do know that these are in fact called power ridges. If you’re not familiar with power ridges, watch this video so you’ll get a better idea.
So now that I’m on aligners #12, I can definitely see a difference (though small) in how much of my bottom incisors are showing. All these little annoyances are so worth it!!
Anyway, I have yet to come across someone online, or in person, who has experienced these ‘lingual power ridges’. I know I have readers out there… can someone please step forward?! I’m tired of feeling alone! Okay, joking… but still, it would be nice if I could find someone to join me in martyrdom.
When do you start seeing Invisalign results, you ask? Well, everyone’s case is different so timing will definitely vary. Mine was aligner set #9. I am now on #11.
I was doing my nightly ritual of washing my face, flossing, brushing and all that fun stuff when I realized that my bottom teeth seemed not so… crooked. Of course, like most of you have done, (don’t deny it!) I would compare new aligners to set #1 but since the changes were so minuscule, I never really noticed a significant difference. In my case, my doctor planned it so that, although my top teeth were adjusting ever so slightly, for the first six months, my bottoms were the ones that were making real changes. Remember, I have 27 aligners for the top and only 19 for the bottom.
In that moment, I was elated! I thought, “Finally! All my hard work and sacrifice is beginning to pay off!” Okay, so it’s not that much hard work and hardly any sacrifice… but sometimes I like to martyr myself. Woe is me.
What set of aligners did you first see an improvement?
And when I say exercising, I mean hardcore, sweating-balls cardio. Spin class is fun and can be quite challenging… it is what you make of it as they say. From the beginning of my treatment, my aligners have always dried my mouth out some… so to remedy that, I usually have a bottle of water with me at all times. Cycling and breathing hard together definitely emphasize my dry mouth and I end up turning into a total mouth-breather. My lips stick to my aligners and it’s all around uncomfortable. Of course I drink lots of water, but when you’re moving around and working hard, the last thing you want to be is waterlogged.
So, unless you allot part of your “out time” for exercise, this might be one of your downfalls. I think of it this way: Exercise, stay in shape, and feel good all while working on fixing your jacked up grill… or just have a jacked up grill.
Heck, you may not even have this problem… but I wouldn’t let this be something that discourages your progress if you do.