During todays 40-minute appointment, Dr. Spinella briefed me on how to care for my aligners, what to expect during the first couple of days of wearing them, and most importantly,how the Invisalign attachments work.

Invisalign attachments are small bumps of tooth colored bonding attached to the teeth to help the aligners shift the teeth.The attachments line up with small bubbles in the aligners and give the plastic aligners more surface space to grip in order for optimal movement of the teeth.After Invisalign treatment is over, the attachments are removed and the teeth are polished.

gck beforeafterattachments - My Invisalign Journey: First Set of Aligners
I was a bit nervous to have the attachments placed – I thought they would be very noticeable and make my teeth look funny. However, the process to attach them was quick and painless, and when I looked in the mirror afterwards, I was surprised to discover that I had to look closely at my teeth to notice they were even there!

iwi DrSpinellaAppt - My Invisalign Journey: First Set of Aligners

Before I left, Dr. Spinella had me practice removing the trays using my fingernail. It was a bit tricky the first time, but after removing them a couple of times, Ive gotten the hang of it!

The trays felt tight on my teeth, and several hours later, I could feel that my teeth were beginning to shift. It didnt feel anything like the excruciating pain I experienced as a kid after having my braces tightened, but was encouraged to take a couple of ibuprofen each time I inserted a new set of aligners. Dr. Spinella assured me that as I crept closer to the 2 week point at which I will switch to a new set of aligners, the teeth would settle and the aligners would not feel so tight.

So, heres the most important part about Invisalign that Ive learned so far: COMPLIANCE! Invisalign only works effectively if you, the patient, are committed to wearing the aligners for the recommended 22 hours per day, practicing good hygiene, and staying on top of the progress appointments.

When I eat a meal I remove the aligners, and then brush my teeth, clean the aligners, and reinsert them when Im done. The aligners should be removed if drinking anything other than water as well. Liquids with color can stain the aligners, and linger between the aligner and the teeth.

Ive only had Invisalign for one day so far, but Ive learned another valuable and unexpected perk of the treatment: healthful eating habits! Its the holiday season, and cookies, cakes, candy, and sweets of all varieties are in abundance everywhere I look. Normally, if my coworkers brought in a tray of Christmas cutouts, Id have eaten one quicker than you could say Invisalign! Now, however, I put a bit of extra thought into between-meal snacks. Because I must remove the trays, and brush and floss before I reinsert them, Im less likely to impulsively indulge in whatever goodies are within arms reach. As a certified chocolate fiend, if I happen to dodge this years holiday weight-gain, I definitely have Invisalign to thank!

Anyway, I can summarize my first day with Invisalign with a couple of simple points:

  • Getting started with Invisalign is quick and easy. Seriously easy! With a great dental team like the doctors and staff at Winning Smiles, scheduling appointments and getting started with Invisalign is a walk in the park.
  • So far, zero people (other than Dr. Spinella of course), have noticed that I was wearing Invisalign. What an amazing alternative to having brackets and wires!
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