Braceface Chronicles: Invisalign lifestyle issues

Brusha, brusha, brusha. Feels like I do this all day
long now. Photo credit

I’m five days into this braceface thing. The good news? My teeth don’t ache/itch as much as days 1-4 and I’m getting used to the tooth nubs. The bad news? I’m finding my lifestyle incompatible with the requirements of Invisalign. And by “lifestyle,” I mean the desire to eat and drink anything besides water. Allow me to explain.

As I mentioned previously, one of the selling points of plastic-tray-type braces is the ability to remove retainers for eating and brushing of teeth. That feature is indeed lovely. However, one of the major requirements for Invisalign is to keep the trays in for 20-22 hours per day. Doesn’t sound difficult, right? Well think about just how long it takes to eat a meal. Or enjoy a cup of coffee. Or have a snack. Or have another snack. There is to be absolutely no eating or drinking with trays in, and every morsel of non-water must be followed by a vigorous brushing to prevent cavities or discoloring of trays. Hence, a fundamental struggle between “convenience” of this type of bracefaceness and the requirements for effectiveness. Plus there is a hell of a lot of brushing* involved. Please don’t tell my dentist, but I’m not sure that I’ve hit the 20-hour** mark once in the last five days.

Of course, I’m an overachiever who likes to do things “right,” so I’m working on ways to hit my quota of hours. I’m trying to eat faster and linger less long over my morning cup(s) of joe. I’m cheating just a hair by enjoying cold drinks with trays-in (not often and always chased by water) and I’m learning to get these stuck-on-like-glue retainers in and out quickly to make snacks*** seem less annoying.

Invisalign wearers of the world: Any other good tips for me?

xoxo,
shawna

P/S For the record, I still wouldn’t trade the trays for traditional braces. I’d like my whining to be construed as warnings for those weighing options. Just want ya’ll to make informed choices you see.

* I’m talking at least 5-6 teeth brushings per day. I have GOT to find a less intense toothpaste. My tongue is numb from all the flavor blasting and cavity fighting mintyness.
** This will result in the extension of total braceface time. How special.
*** If anything, Invisalign is a fabulous diet tool. I have to think long and hard about whether or not that snack is worth the hassle.

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