Nicole Suddard
Nicole Suddard GRM+ Memberand Marketing Coordinator
8/30/22 9:25 a.m.

So after successfully avoiding braces as a kid, I was finally told by my dentist a few years ago that my life would be a lot better (read: fewer fillings in between teeth) if I saw an orthodontist and corrected my tooth crowding.

Fast-forward past the last 2 years, wherein I didn't want extra people breathing in my face. This year I visited two orthodontists for opinions, they recommended everything from braces to jaw surgery to peridontal grafts. I opted to start with invisalign and see how close to a fix I could get with what I saw as a minimally-invasive option. I'll probably switch to braces for a short stint at the end to fine-tune everything, followed by permanent retainers.

I got my first set of aligners last week. I feel like I was not mentally prepared for the discomfort. It's not what I would call "severe pain", but it's present enough and constant enough to completely drain my energy, focus, and happy person reserves. I go home at the end of the day and just sleep because it's the only thing that keeps me from fixating on the discomfort. Normally I'm a very busy person and I can't keep canceling plans because my mouth hurts.

Has anybody else gone through this? Does anybody have words of encouragement? I'm worrying I can't keep up with this for the year-and-a-half or so required to fix my mouth stones.

NY Nick
NY Nick GRM+ Memberand Dork
8/30/22 9:29 a.m.

I had conventional braces as a kid. The pain after adjustment would subside after a few days and then you just had to live with the mouth full of metal until they cranked them up again. 
Sorry that you are hurting out of the gate but it should get better. 

Tom Suddard
Tom Suddard GRM+ Memberand Director of Marketing & Digital Assets
8/30/22 9:37 a.m.

The first adjustment/fitting/etc. is always the hardest, too. Your teeth aren't used to being pushed around and invisilign doesn't know exactly where they all are at the beginning, which means they may be trying to move a lot accidentally. It'll get better over time. 

docwyte
docwyte PowerDork
8/30/22 9:40 a.m.

So did you get the periodontal grafts?  Is a general dentist doing the invisalign, or an orthodontist?  Did you get evaluated by a periodontist before you went into invisalign?  If they recommended that they're worried about moving your teeth past the bone, which will then cause a lot of gum recession and future problems.

If you didn't go see a periodontist for an evaluation I'd go do that immediately...  As far as the pain from the aligners, expect about 3-4 days of discomfort every time you get a new tray.

SpeedwayFan
SpeedwayFan Reader
8/30/22 9:41 a.m.

It's all gonna be worth when you have straight teeth

Nicole Suddard
Nicole Suddard GRM+ Memberand Marketing Coordinator
8/30/22 10:07 a.m.

In reply to docwyte :

An orthodontist is doing the invisalign. I did not end up seeing the peridontist.

The other orthodontist I consulted with (who is married to the peridontist they themselves referred) mostly mentioned the possibility of grafts because of one problem area, thought they admitted that area might be fixed without grafts by the tooth realignment.

Nicole Suddard
Nicole Suddard GRM+ Memberand Marketing Coordinator
8/30/22 10:11 a.m.

In reply to SpeedwayFan :

I am very much looking forward to a life with less dental drilling and fewer bills for said drilling, that's for sure.

WonkoTheSane
WonkoTheSane GRM+ Memberand UltraDork
8/30/22 12:02 p.m.

My experience was like Tom's, although I had metal braces in high school.  The first day was awful, then it dropped day by day until about day 4 or 5, where it was back to the normal baseline of slight ache.

Nicole Suddard
Nicole Suddard GRM+ Memberand Marketing Coordinator
8/30/22 4:09 p.m.

In reply to WonkoTheSane :

For the benefit of his orthodontic street cred, Tom is speaking from metal braces experience too. I'm resisting the urge to post a photo of how much steel was on his teeth when we met as teens lol.

WonkoTheSane
WonkoTheSane GRM+ Memberand UltraDork
8/30/22 4:57 p.m.
Nicole Suddard said:

In reply to WonkoTheSane :

For the benefit of his orthodontic street cred, Tom is speaking from metal braces experience too. I'm resisting the urge to post a photo of how much steel was on his teeth when we met as teens lol.

Yeah, we were all there...  Worried about walking too close to the fridge for fear we'd be wearing a mouthful of plastic letters after trying to sneak a bit of leftover pizza...

Datsun310Guy
Datsun310Guy MegaDork
8/30/22 6:55 p.m.

Oh yeah - my kids ortho hit me up for  $5500 each kid - no insurance plan at the time.

My kids have awesome teeth - thank you Dr Booth.  He also drives a sweet BMW.  I recommend him all the time and I always mention the BMW.

AnthonyGS (Forum Supporter)
AnthonyGS (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand UltraDork
8/30/22 10:10 p.m.

My parents had nothing so I had to wait until adulthood too.  Honestly it's not that bad.  You get used to the discomfort of moving teeth.  The first few days are the worst.  Once the teeth start moving the pain will localize to spots being adjusted.  I did old fashioned braces.  Be honest though,  it'll likely never be perfect.  After I was done my bite wasn't perfect and that led to a chipped tooth.  Now that my bite is more natural my teeth aren't perfect anymore,  that said it's still way better than where I started.  It's a journey.  Enjoy it.

Nicole Suddard
Nicole Suddard GRM+ Memberand Marketing Coordinator
8/31/22 10:55 a.m.

One important coping mechanism I've learned: chewing on stuff helps soothe the discomfort. I ordered myself some off-brand silicone chewing tubes that have a pleasant mint flavor and so far they are helping a lot.

spitfirebill
spitfirebill MegaDork
8/31/22 11:06 a.m.

I had metal braces in the old days because I had a severe overbite and had to wear a headgear for quite a while.   That was some of the worse pain I have ever experienced.  If I recall swishing something cold or hot relieved pain a little.      

Brake_L8 (Forum Supporter)
Brake_L8 (Forum Supporter) HalfDork
8/31/22 12:28 p.m.

I had metal braces as a kid and did a round of Invisalign a few years ago because I was Too Cool to wear my retainers once I got to college and onward, so... my teeth were moving again. The first two trays or so of Invisalign are the worst, you will get through it and then it's smaller tweaks each week or two when you change trays. 

Wear them as much as you can, my parents also both did Invisalign and were able to cut their treatment times down a good bit because the "estimates" assume you have them out for something like 4 hours a day. If you can not do that most of the time, you will progress more quickly.

If you are a coffee fiend as I am... iced coffee through a straw means you can drink it and not have to have the trays out or brush quite so much.

AnthonyGS (Forum Supporter)
AnthonyGS (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand UltraDork
8/31/22 2:54 p.m.
Nicole Suddard said:

One important coping mechanism I've learned: chewing on stuff helps soothe the discomfort. I ordered myself some off-brand silicone chewing tubes that have a pleasant mint flavor and so far they are helping a lot.

You are actually relieving physical stress and tension by applying an alternate force to the teeth.  Seriously, if you had a strain gage on a tooth, you'd see the forces change.  Rock on if it helps!

OHSCrifle
OHSCrifle GRM+ Memberand UltraDork
8/31/22 9:18 p.m.
docwyte said:

So did you get the periodontal grafts?  Is a general dentist doing the invisalign, or an orthodontist?  Did you get evaluated by a periodontist before you went into invisalign?  If they recommended that they're worried about moving your teeth past the bone, which will then cause a lot of gum recession and future problems.

If you didn't go see a periodontist for an evaluation I'd go do that immediately...  As far as the pain from the aligners, expect about 3-4 days of discomfort every time you get a new tray.

Wish I had read this three years ago. During the early pandemic I got a berkeleyin Groupon for Smile Direct Club and paid $1,900 for the full invisible aligner treatment. They Scanned my mouth in a big RV parked outside the local dying mall. 

Everything seemed to progress just fine until I saw my dentist when I was almost done and learned that moving them too fast can berkeley your mouth up. I'm now on the verge of periodontal disease and have fairly severe gum recession thanks to that experience.

Mine may have been worse because I kept the aligners in for everything except eating.   

So beware.... 

And the "new aligner" pain in my experience was short lived. The teeth get used to the new position after about two days in my experience. 

AnthonyGS (Forum Supporter)
AnthonyGS (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand UltraDork
9/7/22 1:03 a.m.

Any updates? 

chandler
chandler UltimaDork
9/7/22 6:47 a.m.
AnthonyGS (Forum Supporter) said:

My parents had nothing so I had to wait until adulthood too.  Honestly it's not that bad.  You get used to the discomfort of moving teeth.  The first few days are the worst.  Once the teeth start moving the pain will localize to spots being adjusted.  I did old fashioned braces.  Be honest though,  it'll likely never be perfect.  After I was done my bite wasn't perfect and that led to a chipped tooth.  Now that my bite is more natural my teeth aren't perfect anymore,  that said it's still way better than where I started.  It's a journey.  Enjoy it.

This was me as well, my wife asked why I never had them when I was 24; my parents never had insurance and couldn't afford them - so I got them then. I had an implanted retainer so they are still pretty good going on 18 year later. And yes, the first 2-5 days after an adjustment or new tray are the worst.

Our Preferred Partners
VFgVec9LCUOGK5EOxGwZ2AeVjk4zeKW5KbEoRjuIosBylNuZ0VrNktfJZOoHlcVv