Noticed anything different about my blog? Yes, I've a new blog design now and I'm sooo psyched about it! I promised big plans on my blog, will be rolling them out within this month so watch this space! ;) Admittedly, my new layout is still a work in progress, and I'll get cracking soon! In the meantime, BIG BIG THANK YOU to my blog designer, Kharnyee for her patience and design! You guys, please do contact her if you ever need someone to design your blog layout k :p
Will be talking more about that soon. Just sit back and admire my new blog layout for now :p I'm going to talk about my teeth again (teehee). Ever since I posted about putting on my aligners (READ HERE), I've received many messages and questions about how it feels like to wear them. I just started wearing my 3rd pair of aligners three days ago and I feel somewhat qualified to answer your questions about how life has been after "officially" starting my Invisalign treatment.
It's fun tricking people initially because NO ONE could tell that I started wearing my aligners already unless I told them. Some people even think I'm tricking them! I love seeing their reactions, which is usually followed by me bearing my teeth to let them see my aligners close-up LOL.
My first meal right after getting my aligners. Hooray for Bacon! On the second day I was like, "Omg thank goodness I had that 'last meal' because I can't bite now T.T" But... that's not entirely true.
If you ask me if wearing aligners hurt, I'd say YES and NO. Yes, it's painful because your teeth has to move to their 'designated' position. I got a shock after just 7 hours of wearing because I could feel my teeth feeling shaky and slightly painful already.
No because well, at least I don't have to go through the pain of metal wires poking my gums and normally the pain in my teeth disappears during the 4th or 5th day (so far lah).
Speaking of which, lemme explain how the pain feels like. Remember when you were young and your milk teeth hurt? You tried to wiggle it a little with your fingers and found that they were shaky. That's exactly how my teeth feel when I change my aligners. It starts from the two front teeth, then slowly affects the back as well. My teeth feels weak and slightly throbbing, as if blood is rushing towards them. Then when you take off the aligners, you'd have to be careful so as to not pull your teeth out. I KID YOU NOT. Hope this description doesn't scare you ;)
In case you're wondering, here's how a typical aligner looks like. It is transparent and lightweight, made of sturdy plastic which will not go out of shape or break easily. I have 40 pairs of these, each different a different shape to match the movement of my teeth. Why am I telling you this? I'm going to menceritakan some of the "cons" I've experienced from the first week of wearing aligners. Notice that little plastic cut at the top of my aligners? Typically, aligners are not supposed to hurt your mouth, unlike metal braces, but I can't believe how uncomfortable that little cut was! I did not notice it initially so I didn't ask my dentist what that was, though I have a feeling it's to attach rubber bands later on, maybe?
That piece of jutting out plastic cut my inner upper lips slowly but surely in the first two days. Maybe it was because my mouth wasn't used to the shape or feel of the aligners yet, it kept scratching against my lip and gradually left a tiny ulcer. It bothered me so much at first. Thankfully, my colleague saved me by giving me her orthodontic wax (that is usually used for conventional braces) and I DIY-ed a little 'cushion' for my upper aligner. It worked and the plastic stopped cutting me. Yay!
Fun fact: Almost all the girls in my office (upstairs, at least) have either worn braces, are wearing braces or are planning to wear braces. So it's really nice to have people to share and talk about our braces experience with :p Also, it's funny to watch us queueing to brush our teeth after lunch XD
Here's a list of things I thought I can't do and will honestly have to live with it for the rest of my Invisalign journey after experiencing the first week (thank goodness I am more used to these now). I'm pretty sure people who wear braces can relate to these as well:
1. Can't close my mouth properly
You laugh, but it takes time for my muscles to accommodate to having a foreign object inside my mouth, ok. This led to....
2. Don't know how to smile for the camera
Since I'm so used to taking photos with my mouth closed, I look awkward in every photo now because I'm faced with the dilemma of closing my mouth and smiling weirdly, or baring my teeth and showing my crooked teeth. So.. I normally choose to do a pout in the end. #noshame
3. Can't say S
This is quite amusing, but not noticeable to people who didn't know I'm wearing aligners at first. I kept feeling like I talked funny but it was only to me. And then the people around me started noticing it too. It's like I have a lisp all of a sudden and can't pronounce certain words properly. I keep feeling like there's something pushing against my tongue. For instance, now I can't sing this line from Ed Sheeran's 'Photograph' properly if I have my aligners on - "Under the lamp post back on 6th Street". It gets especially bad when I'm nervous and have to speak in front of the public - something I recently realised. I had to give a short speech during one of the seminars I attended last week and I sounded like I'm chewing rubber -,-
*ignore my awkward horse smile* Considering the fact that I can't speak properly right after wearing aligners, I went for a karaoke sesh with my girls on that same day, weird lisp and all. They both didn't realise I had aligners on too until the end of the session XD
4. Can't eat food in various form
Since my teeth usually hurt the most right after I take them off, which is usually when I have to eat, I can't seem to bite some of my favourite food now.. For instance, I can eat shredded chicken porridge, but not a chicken drumstick because my front teeth doesn't allow me to tear the meat T.T The first three days was practically spent eating porridge, rice soaked in soup or noodles.
BUUUUUTTTTT..... I tried something last week which made me feel quite geng lah.. I tried eating FLOWER CRABS, biting the shell with my back molars instead. It worked! Though I'm pretty sure I'm not supposed to do that (sorry Dr Matthew) :x
5. Can't snack!
This is the last and MOST IMPORTANT point. I LOVE snacking, ask my friends and colleagues! I need to snack to keep my brain going when I work. Contrary to popular belief, small people do eat a lot and I am one example of that. I get hungry really quickly, so snacking is crucial. Now that I have to wear my aligners for 22 hours a day optimally, I can't snack as much as I want to because it's troublesome (and I'm lazy) to take off my aligners and put them on again. I don't want to lose weight leh.... You can't really chew or taste food while having the aligners on, FYI. Plus, it's kinda unhygienic to eat with aligners on.
Things were not so bad in the 2nd week though. Feels like I got more accustomed to these changes. I admit, sometimes I even forget if I have my aligners on or not! :x Funny how fast I got used to it. That being said, some pros I realised after wearing aligners are:
1. Makes my teeth shinier & whiter!
Yeah, free teeth whitening! :p Not sure what makes it so but the aligners give a healthy shine to my teeth, making my smile FEEL brighter. It could also be due to the fact that I have to brush my teeth more often.
2. Drinking more water
Not sure if it's just me but my mouth feels drier quickly after wearing aligners. Since I can't snack, I force myself to drink more water instead. It's good news for me because if you know me, you'll know that I hate drinking water heh.
3. Got rid of some bad habits
Don't know if this classifies as a real 'pros' lah but now I can't peel the dry skin off my lips already. I have chapped lips because I don't drink water. The aligners kinda 'blunt' my teeth so I can't peel off the dried skin with my teeth, I have to use my fingers now LOL OK SORRY I KNOW I'M GROSS XD I've also stopped biting my nail cuticles too so I guess that's a good thing?
Even though it seems like there are more cons than pros to wearing Invisalign, I seriously still love it. Getting straight teeth is worth everything! Feel like wearing invisible braces makes a great conversation starter as well haha :p I'm on my 3rd pair of aligners now and I think I'm getting better at putting on and taking off my aligners. Initially, I needed to use a mirror and a chewie but now, I can just wear and take it off wherever and whenever, without needing to adjust with a chewie as well. But this convenience might be short-lived as my orthodontist just told me that he'd be putting on attachments on my teeth at the next consultation. Interested to know what's that? Stay tuned to the next post to find out! ;)
Quote my name 'CARINN10' to get 10% OFF Invisalign services by Dr Matthew Hong at Q&M Dental Surgery, Taman Molek, from now until 31st December 2015!
Disclaimer: [Sponsored] I have received complimentary Invisalign treatment from Align Technology, Inc & Q&M Dental Surgery JB (Molek) after winning a contest organised by Invisalign & Nuffnang. In exchange for that, I have agreed to promote and write about my Invisalign story. The review is written based on my honest views and personal experiences on the treatment.