After spending my entire life with crooked teeth I can finally say I have a confident smile! When I was younger I was supposed to get braces twice but it unfortunately never worked out. Now, being a journalism student at university, the idea of wearing bright pink tracks on my teeth on TV wasn’t exactly what I wanted. However, last year my best friend gave me the idea of getting Invisalign as an alternative. That’s all it took for me to look up different places of where I could get the treatment in Toronto. So long story short, I ended up getting Invisalign in May 2016 and just finished my treatment in July 2017. Below is a breakdown of how much it cost, where you can get it and my overall experience. Hopefully my story can help you decide if Invisalign is the treatment for you.
What is Invisalign?
Invisalign is an alternative to braces that are clear aligners or trays that reshape your teeth over a certain period of time. They are custom made for the specific shape of your teeth and you wear them 20-22 hours a day only taking them out to eat, drink or brush your teeth. A major difference between Invisalign and braces is that Invisalign is meant to push your teeth into shape whereas braces pull them.
The case that also comes with the trays has a reminder inside them to wear them for at least 22 hours a day which was really helpful!
You can probably get Invisalign at most orthodontist offices. I went to Dental Arts at Front. The location is in the heart of Toronto and the staff are all really friendly! They’d always ask how I was doing in school, how my summer was going and I truly felt remembered every time I went for an appointment. Every time I had an appointment I also never had to wait longer than 5 minutes which was great. Dr. Jeremy Kurtz is the orthodontist at this location and was always super friendly to me. Whenever I had any questions he did a really good job of “dumbing it down” so I could really understand all the information. The office would also send me a text 2 hours before my appointment as a reminder which was very helpful if I was ever out.
Something else that I noticed about this office is that everything is digital. Back when I was supposed to get braces I had to put clay into my mouth so the orthodontist could mold the shape of my teeth. At Dental Arts at Front they used a machine over each of my teeth to show what they looked like and then showed it digitally! I think this technology is pretty cool and felt a lot more comfortable to me.
My Invisalign was paid for all at once and therefore we got a 5% off discount. After taxes the treatment cost around $4500. This price included all my trays (including extra ones if I wasn’t pleased with the result) two cases, aligner chewies, a whitening treatment and 1 retainer at the end. Keep in mind that everyone’s teeth are different so what Invisalign cost for me, might cost you more or less. However, when I was younger and was quoted for braces, the cost would have been $5000-$6000. In my situation, Invisalign is definitely more cost efficient.
I have absolutely no regrets getting Invisalign and I’m actually happy that I never had to have braces when I was younger. Wearing the trays for the first couple days I did have a little lisp but got over it pretty quickly. I had around 25-30 total trays over the course of my treatment. For the first year I wore each tray for 2 weeks straight before changing them. As I got closer towards the end of my treatment I only wore the trays for 1 week. Whenever I received a new tray on the bag was the date when I was supposed to put them on. They are also ordered “1 of __”, “2 of __” which was helpful when keeping track and a great visual representation of how far you are along.
One of the cons of wearing Invisalign was that when wearing them for 2 weeks in a row they did get kind of gross. Towards the end of the 2 weeks there was always a yellow tint to them but you could never see it when wearing them. However, I’d say I took extra care of my oral health during my treatment. I always made sure to brush my teeth after every meal because putting the trays back in with leftover food in your mouth is pretty gross! Another con (kind of silly but true) was that whenever I was offered food like a sample at Costco or a bite of my friends food, I always had to say no because it was never worth taking out my trays for one bite. Not a big deal but something I noticed happened a lot.
Another thing about Invisalign that I didn’t know about until I got it is attachments. Attachments are enamel-coloured ridges that stick to your teeth. These are what actually make your teeth move and are put in specific spots depending on what treatment your teeth need. Below is an example of what attachments look like.
When I wasn’t wearing my trays I could feel the attachments and at first they made my gums bleed cause they were kind of sharp but after a couple days they started to wear down and became more smooth. I’d also joke around with my friends that I felt like a shark! I had about 8 on each side but none on my front teeth so you couldn’t really notice them unless you looked super close.
Does it hurt?
Yes and no. The only way I can describe putting on a new tray is like putting on a pair of shoes that are too small for you. My orthodontist told me to put on new trays before I went to bed so that my teeth could get used to them overnight. In the first couple days my teeth would feel really painful and sore when taking off my trays to eat. If the pain was ever really bad I would take an Advil and be good 30 minutes later. For the rest of the treatment my teeth wouldn’t hurt unless I didn’t put my trays back as soon as I was eating. Sometimes I’d go without wearing them 5 hours after eating and when I put them back on it would feel really tight.
Do you have to wear a retainer too?
Yes, after my treatment was done I was given 4 retainers (my insurance covered the extra 3) to last me the next couple years. Wearing trays on my teeth for the past year was something I was already used to so wearing a retainer wasn’t that big of a change for me. I’ve been wearing mine for almost 3 weeks now and actually enjoy wearing them a lot more than my Invisalign! They don’t hurt since they’re meant to keep your teeth in place and are a lot thicker in material. They’re also a lot less noticeable in my opinion. You’re supposed to wear them for 2 months straight after finishing Invisalign and then slowly wear them less and less each week so that you are eventually only wearing them at night.
Before and After Photos
As you can see in the photos my teeth look completely different! I had a major overbite which was fixed and my two front teeth are perfectly aligned instead of being turned in. Looking at these photos I am very happy with my results!
If you’re an adult who has the choice between braces and Invisalign, I’d highly recommend getting Invisalign! I never felt self conscience about my smile while wearing them and people could never notice that I had them on unless they were looking at me up close. Keep in mind that not everyone is eligible for Invisalign. My teeth before Invisalign weren’t the absolute worst so this treatment worked for me. However, if you’re unsure if Invisalign is the right treatment for you, visit an orthodontist for a proper recommendation.
This post is not affiliated or sponsored by Dental Arts at Front or Invisalign. As always, all opinions are 100% my own.