I’ve had Invisalign for about two months now. If you are not familiar with this technology, it is a removable plastic alternative to traditional metal braces. Basically a technician scans your mouth and a program builds a computer model to figure out how to move your teeth slowly. Then your dentist gives you trays that you change every two weeks.
If you have whitened your teeth with a dentist-prescribed treatment with the little trays, have a night guard, or wear a tooth guard for a sport, you might be familiar with the feeling of plastic in your mouth. With Invisalign in your mouth, it’s a 22 hour a day feeling. Gotta say, I’m not a big fan, although I’m getting used to it.
I’m sure I’ll be happy with the results when the year is up. So far they make my lips dry out, they massively reduce my eating, especially snacking because I don’t feel like brushing my teeth every single time food touches my lips. They have diminished the joy of eating since I think they’ve affected my sense of smell and taste. Boo! I have been making Bruce taste salad dressings and sauces when I cook because I can’t tell if they are seasoned right. It’s making cooking hard.
Beverage drinking means cool and clear. That means the only warm beverages I drink are at breakfast. And it’s really white coffee. No more nursing a big old green tea in an insulated mug all morning long. You can’t drink warm drinks with the trays in. As for adult beverages, they need to be clear (vodka soda, gin and tonic) or clear-ish (lager beer, white wine, champagne), which is mostly fine, unless you want a snack with your drink or if you really feel like a nice Pinot.
The thing that kills me right now is I keep forgetting that they’re in despite my mockable lisp and tender teeth. Take today’s company Thanksgiving lunch. I got in the buffet line and realized, “Damn, I forgot to take my braces out.” So I had to put my plate down once we got to the tables, rush off to the restroom, take out the braces, shove them in my pocket, then go back and eat my rapidly chilling lunch.
I had a business lunch on Tuesday and remembered that I had the braces to contend with when the waiter brought the starters. Off I went to the restroom.
It’s a pain.
I had braces as what they now call a “tween”. Back in my day, the age had no such name. The braces were the traditional “train-track” kind that got tightened up when you went to the orthodontist. They worked great. While I couldn’t chew gum or eat certain foods, I don’t remember them being limiting or effecting my sense of smell and taste. When I was done with the treatment my teeth were straight. That is until I started grinding in my early 20s.
That’s why I’m in the Invisalign now. My dentist is hoping to minimize the damage that I have been causing myself. I’ve already shortened one of my bottom front teeth. Headaches. Sore jaws. Since I got the Invisalign, none of that. Until tonight. Today my front bottom teeth have been hurting. I’ve had these trays for a week so I’m kind of surprised that it’s hurting now.
I’m back to the dentist on Wednesday. Hopefully the teeth hurting means something good is happening and the process is speeding up. In the meantime, I’m a like 45 year old absent-minded adolescent about to enter the hardcore Eating Season. I think I’ll stick to clear liquids.
Enough complaining. The gratuitous dog photo of the day belongs to the OGs (original Gs), Guinness and Godiva. Here they are in our first Texas house: