Once upon a time back in 2015, roughly one year before Chris and I got married, I marched my ass into a dentist’s office in the Old Town neighborhood of Chicago and had my first Invisalign consultation.
I wanted straighter teeth before our wedding and I would do anything ANYTHING to get them. And then I learned what it would cost… And I marched my ass right back out. L.O.L.
It was not happening in 2015, no way, no how. I also wanted a nice honeymoon and knew we’d be buying a condo soon and so I ultimately decided my crooked bottom teeth weren’t that big of a deal.
And they weren’t, most people didn’t even notice my bottom teeth. I learned to hide them well. But I noticed them. I noticed them in photos, I noticed them in Instagram videos, I noticed them all the time and slowly but surely, they drove me crazy once again. If you have crooked teeth that bother you, then I’m sure you know exactly what I’m talking about. It becomes a thing where it’s all you see.
Me smiling while also trying to hide my bottom teeth. I really don’t have too many close-up photos showing my teeth before Invisalign because I hated to take any.
About three years after that first consultation my sister got Invisalign and I saw her progress, how quickly her smile changed, and enough was enough. I was going to save up and get my straighter teeth already!
And so in February of 2018, after thinking about it for literally years, I finally got my first aligners! OH WHAT A DAY! Aligners look like clear retainers, they’re what you wear 24 hours a day, every single day. It seems daunting at first, but you actually get used to it rather quick.
Rather than rambling any further, I’m going to jump right in and answer the questions you asked on Instagram!
Was it worth it? And would you recommend it?
Invisalign is so pricey, but I have to say yes. I look at my teeth every single day and I’m happy I no longer obsess over them.
Are you completely satisfied?
Well…. they’re not perfect. But I knew this going in because I have a dental implant on my lowers that cannot be moved, so all my teeth had to be moved around it. (Don’t get me started on my implant, it’s been the death of me since day one and I am still VERY bitter about it.)
Was it annoying to eat?
At first, yes. I was sure I was going to lose a ton of weight the first week because I hardly snacked at all because I couldn’t get the aligners in and out easily. Well that lasted all of about five days. I was back to snacking like normal in no time. You just get used to it.
Can you drink coffee with them in?
Nope. I only drank water, I didn’t want to risk discoloring them.
Did you wear them all the time?
In the beginning yes. I even brought them out to dinner and would remove them… (yes this was gross and awkward.) But I eventually lightened up and realized a few hours away wasn’t that big of a deal. But yes, your dentist will tell you to keep them in 24/7.
Is it hard to talk with them in?
If your aligners need to be adjusted, then yes. And sometimes you have to wait for new aligners to come in and then you’ll find yourself talking with a big ol lisp for a couple of weeks.
Is it painful?
In the beginning when you switch to new aligners each week, yes a little. But I’m a psycho and kind of liked the pain because it meant my teeth were moving and becoming straighter. It also helps to switch to your new aligners at night so you’re asleep during those first hours.
Did the trays cut your gums? (Assuming you mean aligners.)
Only a few times.
Does every new aligner hurt?
For me only it was only tight for the first few days.
Can you choose to only get top or only get bottom?
I was told no. I didn’t want them on my top, but in order to make my bottom more straight they had to line up with my tops, which weren’t completely straight either, so I was told it wasn’t an option. I had to do both. But in the end I was SO HAPPY I did tops, as well.
How much did it cost?
For me it was $4500. I don’t know it this is standard, or if it’s more expensive in Chicago. But yes, it’s a lot. I did a payment plan where I paid $1000 up front and then $500 monthly until they were fully paid off. Insurance didn’t cover any.
Did you check out any other cheaper companies?
I did. I actually had another company offer their service to me for free in exchange for blogging about it. But when I went to check them out I was really turned off by the fact everyone I met felt like sales people (I’m not against sale people, I used to be one- or still am one… it’s just not what I wanted for this experience.) I also didn’t like that I’d never actually see a dentist face to face, and this specific company told me they couldn’t be held responsible for any damage done to my teeth… ie if that stupid dental implant got messed up (which is rather pricey in itself) I would be screwed. So it just wasn’t the right service for me. :/
How long did it take?
13 months. I was told it would be about 8-9 months originally, but I was picky at the end and continued to demand more aligners until my teeth were as perfect as I could get them. If I’m paying that kind of money, I wanted to get it right and not rush it.
Did you have brackets put on? Do they show?
I think they’re called attachments, or buttons, in Invisalign land and yes. They’re not really noticeable, or my friends were just nice and told me they weren’t.
Did you have braces before?
I did. Twice…. But my dogs ate my retainers. And I didn’t have built-in retainers until it was too late.
How long did it take to see a difference?
I saw my teeth start to move within 1-2 weeks which was very exciting. 🙂
Do you have to sleep with the retainers on forever?
Yup. But I have TMJ and am a grinder so it doesn’t bother me because the retainers actually keep me from doing this.
What didn’t you like?
Other than the price, I highly suggest choosing a dentist you really like and trust. I … did not. I felt like my dentist was constantly pushing me to just settle and be done when I knew my teeth could be better. Find someone who insists on perfection.
Overall, were you satisfied?
Yes, I’m happy I did it. If I were made of money I would have done it a lot sooner. If it’s important to you and really want straighter teeth I recommend saving up and just doing it. I don’t regret it. 🙂
Sorry, the only close ups I have are weird selfies. But here’s a comparison of my teeth before (bottom pic) and after (top.) My bottom teeth actually line up now.
Like I said, I didn’t initially want the aligners on my top teeth but am so glad I did. It pulled those canines of mine right in. Harlow on the other hand, well his still stick out a bit. And don’t mind Chris’s sparkle tooth, it’s a piercing. Jk, it’s a glare. I hope.
Any other questions? Let me know!