I had never really considered what my patients go through on the day they get their braces are fitted. For me it was a big thing. I honestly couldn’t think about anything else all day. I felt as if everyone was staring at my teeth and I was sure everyone was wondering why I am speaking differently. I concluded that my friends, colleagues and patients were being polite by not mentioning it.
I hadn’t mentioned the fact that I was getting Invisalign to my colleagues at the hospital, however after a full day working at the hospital I finally turned to my nurse and said “how have you managed to go the whole day without mentioning my aligners and my funny speech?!”
My nurse looked at me blankly. She genuinely hadn’t noticed. So my mind was on overdrive, analysing everything to do with my mouth. The reality was no-one noticed (or cared).
Another thing I didn’t consider was the rubbing. I routinely warn my patients that fixed braces can rub on your lip/ tongue. But I never thought it would be a problem with Invisalign. Unfortunately it was/is for me. My tongue was in agony after 4 hours of talking on my consultation clinic. Fortunately I had access to drawers full of orthodontic wax so I layered it on around the edges to make it more comfortable. It seemed like a good idea until the evening when I was cleaning my aligner and I found the whole of the inside was filled with wax. I could see this would affect the fit of the aligner so I had to get it out. My toothbrush wouldn’t help so I ended up breaking my number one rule and using hot water to clean it! Definitely a ‘don’t try this at home moment’. Somehow I didn’t melt the aligner (although I was hoping I would so I wouldn’t have to wear it anymore). Once again I took a painkiller and soldiered on.
Day two I was back at my practice. Still persevering, using every ounce of willpower I possessed. I was starving as I hadn’t snacked for two days. I was waiting for lunchtime, for the short break when I could take the aligners out and give my mouth a breather. I know I will get used to it if I keep going. It’s a bit like running. When you hit that brick wall you have to run through the pain and then you’ll be fine. I’m at the Invisalign brick wall right now. But i’m not going to give up! (Not yet anyway).