I hate going to the dentist. Like… palms sweaty, knees weak, mom’s spaghetti-type of hate (lol). Granted, that’s true of really any doctor appointment. But I digress… While my deep hatred of all things dental has been a deterrent in the past, I’ve wanted to straighten my teeth for some time. Therefore, I’ve chosen to invest in Invisalign (well, technically SmileCycle… but more on that later). Today, I wanted to dive into why I chose that method, the process and the best Invisalign treatment advice I’ve received to date.
Disclaimer: This post is not medical advice nor to advise you to do Invisalign or SmileCycle. I am not a trained or certified dentist or medical professional, and this blog post is just to document my personal experience as a general consumer. Please consult your dentists to determine proper care and your general physician for all medical advice. Lastly, I paid 100% for SmileCycle and my dental services. I did not receive it for free nor a discounted rate. All opinions are my own.
Best Invisalign Treatment Advice
Yes, I have a fear of a dentist but I’m certainly not alone! The Washington Post reported “roughly 5-10% percent of the population suffers from dental phobia,” which leads to 40-75% postponing or cancelling dentist appointments.
What is it about dental experiences that make you quiver? That cringe-inducing sound of the drill? The stale mouthwash scent that wafts in a room? Or, have you had that one dentist that hit too close to a nerve that sent earth-shattering shockwaves through your body for what felt like weeks on end?
I really struggled to get to this decision. Funny enough, I actually represented this dentist/dental group that’ll be in charge of my process. Yep, you read that right, I did PR for this company! I’d seen before and after photos of happy customers and sent countless influencers, friends and family to get it done through Dentologie. I trust them implicitly with my teeth (and those of my loved ones)!
But the decision still wasn’t easy. Maybe you’re in the same position and questioning if it’s something you want to move forward with. If so, I sincerely hope this post helps you in some way!
Brackets and Braces – Oh My!
Growing up, I was fortunate to have braces, but my bottom and top teeth have moved as an adult. Prior to selecting Invisalign, I also considered getting braces again. Braces are not for the faint of heart, but they’ve come a long way since the silver and colorful rubber bands back in the day! 🙂 In fact, I was fortunate enough to meet someone who recently got ceramic braces – and I could barely tell he had anything in his mouth.
At the same time, I can’t fathom going back to braces. The upkeep, the feeling on skin, the tightening and constant maintenance appointments? No thank you.
Instead, Invisalign felt like a better, less intrusive option that simply requires diligence and good hygiene. All things that I can do! At the same time, Invisalign takes patience, time and money. It’s not for everyone.
Why I Chose Invisalign
The first step was doing a complimentary Invisalign (SmileCycle) consultation to make sure that I was a candidate for it. After doing a 3D scan of my mouth, my dentist said my teeth are perfectly positioned for Invisalign. Since I had braces, my teeth are in a good position for the liners. They’ve just been “crowding” in my mouth (i.e. moving inwards towards one another).
As discussed, I’ve specifically chosen to do SmileCycle – an Invisalign process specifically created by the company, Dentologie in Chicago. SmileCycle is unique because you’re treated for Invisalign by real dentists overseeing the process directly. Plus, they are making Invisalign more accessible and affordable.
Unlike other aligner companies, the whole process is overseen and managed by their dentists who specialize in Invisalign. When I have a question or an issue, I deal directly with my dentist directly, not customer service. In fact, when they did my 3D scans, my dentist was there to explain what I was seeing and why Invisalign would work for me. Furthermore, he was able to manage expectations of how many “cycles” I’d need to do to get my teeth in a great place, and the cost that would be associated with it.
Lastly, I love that SmileCycle cuts down the average number of office visits from 15 to 4, and the total case length from 1½ years to 6 months. LOVE that. Plus, I can’t stress this enough, my dentist is in charge of the process and guides every single step.
Invisalign Treatment Preparation
If you’re a candidate for Invisalign, there are two main things to consider. First, budget. SmileCycle currently costs around $3,000 without insurance or an HSA (health savings account). Also, it’s an additional $600 for a retainer when all is said and done (something I highly recommend to keep teeth in place).
Second – SmileCycle is a commitment! Keep in mind, Dentologie recommend keeping your trays in for 22 hours a day. It’s going to be HARD. Like, really hard. With long work meetings and major presentations, business meals and long-haul flights, I’m concerned about keeping in my trays for as long as possible.
in the end, the longer you keep in the trays = the better (and faster) the process goes. Plus, if you forget to wear your trays, they’ll stop fitting, which results into going back to square one. Think new 3D scans, new trays, more money… the list goes on and one.
Invisalign Treatment Tips
To help the process (and to ensure that I don’t need to start over), I asked for your best Invisalign treatment advice to stay on track. You brought back AMAZING tips. Seriously! Below, I’ve gathered the most frequent comments and recommendations. I’m definitely planning to incorporate them into my process!
Change Trays Right Before Bed
One of the top pieces of advice? Change your new trays right before going to bed. From what I’ve gathered, the trays are pretty tight on your teeth and uncomfortable to start. Your teeth are moving after all! 🙂 Some people mentioned having Advil, Excedrin or Tylenol on-hand during the first few days of wearing Invisalign / SmileCycle and also new tray changes. *Again, please consult your doctor before taking any medications.
What to Buy for Invisalign
Below, I’m sharing the 10 items that you recommended to buy for the Invisalign process. Some items are to help with hygiene and others streamline the process. Keep in mind, these items are all pretty affordable, but it’s important to keep these costs in mind as you’re budgeting for the process.
Clear Aligner Chewie and Removal Tool
What in the world is a chewie? Good question, haha! And no, not “Chewie” from Star Wars. Several of you recommended investing in clear aligner chewies. Basically, it’s a tool that helps you safely bite down on the aligners to put them back in place after you eat. Sometimes the trays leave a gap between your teeth and the aligner. Therefore, the chewie eliminate the gap for a more comfortable fit.
Furthermore, this particular style is a chewie and removal tool! The tool pulls the aligners both the top and bottom trays off your teeth. Several of you mentioned removing the trays can be tricky. This tool avoids the mess in a hygenic way. Plus, this tool is BPA- and phthalate-free and dishwasher-safe. Love that!
Clear Aligner Chewie and Removal Tool
Gone are the days of bulky, gross retainer cases! How fabulous are these colorful Invisalign Tray Cases? At only $12.49/each, these cases are helpful to store your trays when you’re eating or drinking. I purchased three of them – one to have at work, one to store at home, and also one to include in my travel carry-on bag for flights. Overall, I love the slim, modern case that has a magnetic closure so everything is tightly shut. Plus, it comes with a black satin bag to keep it extra discreet and/or to add more essentials.
Wisp Disposable Toothbrushes
Another must-have? Wisp disposable toothbrushes. I’ve stocked up on a bunch of these mini wisps for my purses, desk and carry-on luggage. Basically, the wisps brush your teeth on the go anytime, anywhere. There’s no rinsing required, and they’re both sugar and gluten free.
I’m especially excited about these for long-haul flights. You should NEVER brush your teeth in an airplane bathroom unless you’re using bottled water (i.e. not the sink). Therefore, I plan to bring these wisps on flights for last-minute brushing with travel mouth wash and/or a water bottle.
Wisp Disposable Toothbrushes
$16.88/4 pack of 25
Dental Cleansing Towelettes
To be transparent, I had no idea these were a thing! Dental cleansing towelettes quickly remove odors, plaque, stains and kill millions of bacteria on your aligners! Overall, they offer a discrete cleaning solution that’s portable. Best of all, they don’t need to be soaked or rinsed before using.
Dental Cleansing Towelettes
You read that right – denture cleaner. Ultimately, these tablets are helpful to keep trays clean and sanitary. I plan to clean mine every single morning while I’m drinking coffee. Basically, I’ll need to keep the trays in the cleaner for about 10 minutes before brushing my teeth and popping the trays back in with the chewie.
$5.68 for 126 tablets
General Dental Hygiene Must-Haves
Last but certainly not least, I’m stocking up on my some of my dental hygiene must-haves, including travel mouthwash, toothpaste, toothbrushes and also floss. But not just any floss – COCOFLOSS. Are you familiar? In general, COCOFLOSS is a coconut-oil infused woven dental floss. The brand was created by dentists, and it’s honestly the best floss I’ve ever used. It gets EVERYTHING.
Typical flosses are too slick and can’t grab on to the plaque and grime. This eco and vegan-friendly floss has a textured weave that gets the debris, and it’s free of toxins, including parabens, sulfates, and PFAS. Overall, floss is an essential for daily hygiene, but it’s also an important Invisalign treatment advice. You want your teeth to be as clean as possible since you’re placing trays on top of them.
Invisalign Treatment Advice – In Closing
In closing, what’s your best Invisalign treatment advice? I’m open to tips, and I’ll certainly keep you in the loop of my progress. I’m excited, nervous and ready for my teeth to get straight again!