Things That No One Tells You About Before Having Invisalign, My Personal Nightmare

Things That No One Tells You About Before Having Invisalign, My Personal Nightmare

Consider all possibilities before paying a ton of money for these clear trays.

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For people like me who are terrified of how I will look with braces on their teeth, the road toward Invisalign seems like an obvious one, right?

Invisalign is clear aligner trays that are "invisible" on your teeth, not leaving you with that "brace-face" look. They are known for having shorter treatment time periods than standard braces. Treatment lengths can go anywhere from a few months to years, and I say years, because I am currently going on my fourth year of treatment.

When I first started Invisalign, my main issue was that one of my front teeth was really crooked (some of the teeth on the bottom were a little crooked as well, but that didn't concern me as much). I started Invisalign in December 2014, and my doctor said that my treatment would only take one year--party time! I was excited to not have braces, since I was in my junior year of high school and didn't want to look any weirder than I already did. Oh, but little did I know that this would be one of the most excruciating experiences of my life.

When I went in for my first appointment, I really didn't know what to expect. They had to put this mouthguard with the worst thick, foamy gunk in my mouth to get a mold of my teeth; honestly, that was the worst part. Then, when they sent the information to Invisalign and got my trays back, that's where it got interesting.

The nurse mentioned that I was going to have "attachments" on my teeth. Up until that point, I had never heard the word "attachment" used in a conversation about Invisalign and was naturally curious. Apparently, the number one thing that Invisalign leaves out in all of their marketing and on their website is the use of attachments.

Attachments are small bumps that are placed on your teeth to serve as extra grip for the aligners to correctly move your teeth. So, basically, they are like brace brackets, but, they're not metal and are the same color as your teeth. I had one (or more) on every tooth in my mouth except for my back teeth. The use of attachments make your Invisalign more visible. What's worse is when you don't have your Invisalign trays in, you constantly get asked, "What's all over your teeth?" and told, "You have some food stuck on your teeth."

The daily life of having Invisalign is not as perfect as they paint it out to be. They market the product as "not interrupting your life," which, in my case, is all it has done. When you have Invisalign, you have to wear it for 20-22 hours every day.

Every time you want to eat or drink something, you have to take out your trays & brush your teeth afterwards, which can be a little tedious if you are like me and like to snack and drink coffee throughout the whole day. When you don't wear your trays long enough each day, the trays won't fit your teeth, and your Invisalign treatment will be longer. The true reason why my treatment has taken almost four years instead of one is based solely on the fact that there were times I did not wear my trays enough. (But having inconsistent doctors certainly didn't help either.)

Having Invisalign can be really difficult if it goes on for a long enough time and you are unfortunate enough to have three different doctors, like I did. I had to get four refinements for my teeth, which is when your trays don't fit correctly, or you need to add extra trays onto your plan.

The first doctor I had was perfect and is the best Invisalign doctor in Minnesota (Dr. Fehrestis). After him, I had two other doctors, but the last one was by far the most frustrating. I wouldn't come in for that many appointments in between trays, and, when I would, I wouldn't even get to have my doctor look at how the trays were fitting on my teeth. I would just get my new trays, and come back in four to six weeks.

That's when I started getting inconsistent results, and my trays were starting to not fit my teeth. I went in for what I thought would be my last refinement, but things got complicated. My doctor at this point told me that I wasn't allowed to get another refinement without paying (our plan had all extra refinements covered, no matter how many I needed to get), because I was not wearing my trays enough or using the "Chewies" she gave me. Chewies are these little rubber tubes that you can use to properly set your Invisalign trays onto your teeth, and I didn't have them until this last doctor.

She told me that I had to use them when I would put a new set of trays on originally, but, at this appointment, she informed me that I had to use the Chewies every time I put in my trays. So, a lot of miscommunication was happening, and not having appointments where I would have my doctor actually check on how my teeth were doing turned out to be a big problem.

I am finally back with my first doctor (Dr. Fehrestis), and my Invisalign treatment has been going smoothly. The key to having success with Invisalign is making sure that you wear your trays all the time and have constant check-ins with your doctor to ensure that your trays are sitting correctly. Also, just consider getting braces--you can't forget to wear those, and those sought-after straight teeth will become a reality sooner.

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To The Person Who Feels Suicidal But Doesn't Want To Die

Suicidal thoughts are not black and white.
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Everyone assumes that if you have suicidal thoughts that means you want to die.

Suicidal thoughts are thought of in such black-and-white terms. Either you have suicidal thoughts and you want to die, or you don't have suicidal thoughts and you want to live. What most people don't understand is there are some stuck in the gray area of those two statements, I for one am one of them.

I've had suicidal thoughts since I was a kid.

My first recollection of it was when I came home after school one day and got in trouble, and while I was just sitting in the dining room I kept thinking, “I wonder what it would be like to take a knife from the kitchen and just shove it into my stomach." I didn't want to die, or even hurt myself for that matter. But those thoughts haven't stopped since.

I've thought about going into the bathroom and taking every single pill I could find and just drifting to sleep and never waking back up, I've thought about hurting myself to take the pain away, just a few days ago on my way to work I thought about driving my car straight into a tree. But I didn't. Why? Because even though that urge was so strong, I didn't want to die. I still don't, I don't want my life to end.

I don't think I've ever told anyone about these feelings. I don't want others to worry because the first thing anyone thinks when you tell them you have thoughts about hurting or killing yourself is that you're absolutely going to do it and they begin to panic. Yes, I have suicidal thoughts, but I don't want to die.

It's a confusing feeling, it's a scary feeling.

When the depression takes over you feel like you aren't in control. It's like you're drowning.

Every bad memory, every single thing that hurt you, every bad thing you've ever done comes back and grabs you by the ankle and drags you back under the water just as you're about the reach the surface. It's suffocating and not being able to do anything about it.

The hardest part is you never know when these thoughts are going to come. Some days you're just so happy and can't believe how good your life is, and the very next day you could be alone in a dark room unable to see because of the tears welling up in your eyes and thinking you'd be better off dead. You feel alone, you feel like a burden to everyone around you, you feel like the world would be better off without you. I wish it was something I could just turn off but I can't, no matter how hard I try.

These feelings come in waves.

It feels like you're swimming and the sun is shining and you're having a great time until a wave comes and sucks you under into the darkness of the water. No matter how hard you try to reach the surface again a new wave comes and hits you back under again, and again, and again.

And then it just stops.

But you never know when the next wave is going to come. You never know when you're going to be sucked back under.

I always wondered if I was the only one like this.

It didn't make any sense to me, how did I think about suicide so often but not want to die? But I was thinking about it in black and white, I thought I wasn't allowed to have those feelings since I wasn't going to act on them. But then I read articles much like this one and I realized I'm not the only one. Suicidal thoughts aren't black and white, and my feelings are valid.

To everyone who feels this way, you aren't alone.

I thought I was for the longest time, I thought I was the only one who felt this way and I didn't understand how I could feel this way. But please, I implore you to talk to someone, anyone, about the way you're feeling, whether it be a family member, significant other, a friend, a therapist.

My biggest mistake all these years was never telling anyone how I feel in fear that they would either brush me off because “who could be suicidal but not want to die?" or panic and try to commit me to a hospital or something. Writing this article has been the greatest feeling of relief I've felt in a long time, talking about it helps. I know it's scary to tell people how you're feeling, but you're not alone and you don't have to go through this alone.

Suicidal thoughts aren't black and white, your feelings are valid, and there are people here for you. You are not alone.

If you or someone you know is experiencing suicidal thoughts, call the National Suicide Prevention Hotline — 1-800-273-8255


Cover Image Credit: BengaliClicker

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5 Tips To Help You Feel Better If You're Sick

A few helpful tips if there's a bug going around.

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Not to brag, but I don't get sick very often, maybe once a year. When I do find myself a little under the weather, there's a few things I like to do for a faster recovery. I have no idea if any of these are 100% accurate, but I'd like to think they do. None of these will immediately make you feel better, but they'll help quicken the process.

Drink lots of water.

This one is a no-brainer, but it can be hard to do sometimes. I know when I'm sick, I definitely don't think about it. Water can help flush toxins out of your body, makes you hydrated, and can help you feel more awake and energized! If you're not a huge water drinker like I am, Tea also helps.

Stay home.

If you're sick, it's honestly better if you just take a day off and focus on feeling better. If you're worried about going to school or work, it's better that you don't spread anything. Let me just say, I'm fairly certain the last time I caught something was because someone behind me in a class was coughing through the entire lecture.

Rest.

This one goes with the last point, but sleeping will help your immune system fight off any infections. It's good to take some time off and get any extra sleep you can.

Clean everything.

I like to wash all of my clothes and bed sheet, because they're what I wear and touch the most, especially my pillow cases. This will help get rid of some germs and stop them from spreading. It's also good to disinfect anything you touch often, like doorknobs and table surfaces.

Take medicine.

This one also sounds like a no brainer, but seriously if you expect to feel better soon you should be taking some sort of medicine. At the very least, it'll help with your symptoms, so you're not couching or sneezing every couple minutes.

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