• Dental Phobia Support

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Thisismyjournal (thisisme)

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JaySee19

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Don’t wish to discourage you, but we humans are odd creatures and once we’ve solved one problem and can love ourselves again, the next problem comes along. Am I being cynical?
 
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thisisme

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Don’t wish to discourage you, but we humans are odd creatures and once we’ve solved one problem and can love ourselves again, the next problem comes along. Am I being cynical?

Haha maybe! My teeth have been holding me back for over a decade. Straightening my teeth will boost my self confidence, which will be huge. I’ll finally be able to show who I really am, and any other problem that I face... hopefully I can handle with my new-found self confidence! ? I used to never know how to style my hair but now, I do and it’s really cute, so a beautiful smile and cute hair?! I would feel so good about myself. But why is everything a process? My app says 5 days until I can change my tray! Haha.
 
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thisisme

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I started tray 2 last night! I was expecting the worse for tray 1 so I was pleasantly surprised when it wasn’t that bad. I was expecting better for tray 2, and I am disappointed. Haha. Ohhhh the pain but it’s a good pain and I know that, but I’m not even sure how it’s safe to remove the trays right now. It feels like you’re going to rip out all your teeth. They are so tender, especially the crowded areas. And then you have that awkward, I got the tray half out but it’s stuck on the attachments and my teeth hurt if I try to pull it out or push it back in. ?? And then there’s a headache which I had at the start of tray 1 too.

But... overall, it’s really great and I have no regrets right now. I love that I’m finally doing something about a part of me I’ve hated for so long!
 
J

JaySee19

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Hey, it’s supposed to hurt! That’s your teeth being “persuaded” to move. But you know that anyway, and, as you say, it’s good pain. Hope everything settles down again soon and the trays get easier to deal with!
Anybody from your family noticed yet?
 
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thisisme

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Hey, it’s supposed to hurt! That’s your teeth being “persuaded” to move. But you know that anyway, and, as you say, it’s good pain. Hope everything settles down again soon and the trays get easier to deal with!
Anybody from your family noticed yet?

They haven’t! I removed them to eat when I went to visit them and then, just brushed and put them in when I left, but my mom has been over at my place a few times and I’ve left them in. My sister as well and they have not noticed. Granted, I’ve spent 18 years hiding my teeth when I talk, so that may have something to do with it. I’ve only told my best friend and her kids haven’t mentioned it... not even the super curious six year old. My best friend’s sister was over one night and I just didn’t say anything. She didn’t either. The longer I go, the more I feel like it’s my right to choose to tell people or not. If they notice and all, fine, but if they don’t, I don’t see any reason to go out of my way and tell them. I honestly think it’ll be easier to tell people when my teeth are straighter and they are less uncomfortable for me to talk about. Haha.
 
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thisisme

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I had my first ortho appointment since getting Invisalign. I’m not even nervous about going to see him. It’s great. The office is so quiet and he doesn’t room or patient hop. He put in tray 4! That’s 4/42. He decided to go down to 10 day changes. I do hope it goes to a week eventually but it’s better than 14 days!

The worst part is a thing called IPR. I’m glad he does the manual kind and not the kind with a razor. It basically involves him shaving between your teeth. It feels destructive. I always think I’m gonna look at my teeth and think a saw was taken to them. But it sounds worse than it is. It’s to eliminate contact between teeth so they have somewhere to move.

The process is going well. He was so impressed. He asked “is it just me or is your open bite smaller?” I’m like “it is! But you designed the plan so you should know,” haha. But he just seemed so happy with the progress so far. It’s not major but I see it and that’s huge to me. I’m also less ashamed of my teeth because I’m proud of their daily movements. I take too many pictures.

There is some pain with new trays but that just means it’s working! So far, it’s going well. If you’re thinking about Invisalign and reading this, I have nothing negative to say. If I knew I could do this instead of metal/ceramic braces, I may have moved a little quicker.
 
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frostgirl

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Glad to read that Invisalign is going well for you! I keep thinking about it lately, and I thought to myself, I wonder how thisisme is getting on.

I've heard about IPR, it doesn't sound nice but hopefully it will go smoothly and help the whole process for you.

Keep us posted if you can :)
 
krlovesherkids777

krlovesherkids777

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This is a great report Thisisme!! Good to hear how you are getting along :)....
 
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thisisme

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354
Glad to read that Invisalign is going well for you! I keep thinking about it lately, and I thought to myself, I wonder how thisisme is getting on.

I've heard about IPR, it doesn't sound nice but hopefully it will go smoothly and help the whole process for you.

Keep us posted if you can :)

There are IPR horror stories on Reddit but my ortho is really gentle and always checks on me and asks if I want a break. I also did bravely check my teeth afterwards and you can hardly tell. It sounds like a lot worse than it is, and if it prevents him from removing healthy teeth to make space needed, I’m all for it! ?
 
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thisisme

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Also, six weeks in and I have not told my family. Nobody has noticed, though usually when I see them it’s to eat. But, today, my mom came by for a few hours and I had them in. I did have one fairly long party (About 5 hours) that I ended up removing them for, but it hasn’t seemed to affect my treatment since I wear them 22 hours every other day. My friend’s kids haven’t noticed. One day I had to quickly pop them out when she wanted to share her treat with me. The teeth move so slowly so you can’t see changes unless you analyze them like me but hopefully in 2-3 months, it’s more obvious how straight they are getting!
 
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thisisme

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7 days left of tray 5 ? I can already see so many changes and take selfies on Snapchat with my teeth now. They are far from perfect but I can see where they are going and it’s amazing! I had my first small gathering with them where I left them in and nobody said anything. The attachments may not be as noticeable as I think. I love that I can tell what teeth are being moved. Right now, it’s an upper molar. No idea where it’s going but I’m trusting the process.

I used to wake up every morning and the first thing I would think of were my teeth. Now I think about all my other frustrations, hahaha, but it’s still so worth it, and the best part is nobody really knows and I can do something I’ve always wanted without making a big deal out of it.
 
J

JaySee19

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Jun 17, 2020
Messages
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Location
Germany
Ha, ha - you were so worried about telling your family and friends. And in the end they don’t even notice! You can show them a few before and after pictures when everything is over in a couple of years time.
 
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thisisme

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Aug 17, 2012
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Starting tray 7 on Sunday. I can technically start Saturday but #7 is my last tray I have until I see my ortho again and that appointment is 14 days out. ? That means, I’ll have to wear tray 7 a few extra days. That being said, I may as well wear tray 6 an extra day, skip the discomfort on Sunday and enjoy the weekend. New trays aren’t horrible, but they can be annoying.

I celebrated two months in Invisalign on Oct. 25! ?

I love how much I don’t think about wanting straight teeth now. Wearing them has become second nature to me, and it’s amazing to me that some of the closest people to me don’t know. Like how is that even possible?! I’m definitely gonna slip up one day and just take them out in front of them. ?

Progress is definitely evident in pictures but it’s not substantial enough to notice in person. It’s still fun to compare pictures. I like being able to see my investment daily. Makes it feel worth it.

At times, I do feel a bit stressed about how long I’ll be in trays for (at 7/42 now, then refinement trays and a retainer), but it passes. Being able to take them out helps a ton and seeing progress keeps me going. Time is going by fairly quickly overall. I am hoping (knock on wood), I go from 10 day changes to weekly changes at my next appointment. That would speed things up for me! Fingers crossed! ??
 
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thisisme

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Aug 17, 2012
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Warning: pictures!

I’m enjoying my Invisalign experience. I know I’ve said it before but it’s unreal to hate something about yourself and then see it changing before your eyes. I don’t wake up and hate or even think about my teeth anymore. Invisalign is second nature. Pop it in, pop it out. Pain is minimal. The day you change your tray is a bit discomfort but it’s nowhere near how I imagined.

It was going fast. Seems to have slowed down a bit. Had my second ortho checkup and he kept me at 10 day changes. A bit bummed as I’d love to get it down to changing weekly, but he says with my crowding, he doesn’t want to go too fast and cause damage. I respect that. He says we can reconsider in a few months once the crowding straightens

I like my ortho appointments and look forward to them. Way better than the dentist. My ortho avoids chit chat and rather you’re in and out, but he’s gentle and kind and that’s really all I ask.

I see changes but the coolest thing is that I use to be able to hold a lifesaver between my bottom front teeth because of my crowding. I can’t do that anymore! It’s so weird. I actually have to hold it on my tongue. My bottom crowding has by far made the most improvement. I’m actually at the point where I’m comfortable sharing pictures of my smile, so here goes nothing! Start of tray 1 vs. start of tray 8.

So much work left to do but so fun seeing the changes.
B9572CD8-32F8-4BD8-BAFD-D2ACDD5DF869.jpeg
 
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thisisme

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Messages
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Last December, I wrote this:

Last year at this time, I had not yet faced my dental phobia. Facing it wasn’t even on my mind in the New Year, so it gives me hope that next year at this time, I will be on my braces journey. I am trying not to be hard on myself. I try to be a good person. Teeth are just one tiny little part of me, but it’s so mentally consuming. I have not not thought about my teeth every day for at least the last 15 years.

I will admit I have not been the most accomplished this year. I want to blame COVID, but that’s not entirely true. I should have done a lot of things with the extra time: make a portfolio, volunteer, pick up writing, etc. I’d also like to put myself back on the job market. The last job didn’t pan out because they pulled it with COVID.

But— and it’s a big but. I am in braces... well Invisalign! I did it. It took me 6 months after writing that post to schedule a consult but I did it. It really is amazing. The crazy part is that nobody (besides my best friend) knows how big this is for me or even that I’m doing it. That part is getting harder. This has become such a big part of my life and the biggest thing I’ve done this year and I’m not sharing the journey with people I love. Because my teeth change slowly, they haven’t noticed. I’ve been Invisalign for three months but started the braces journey six months ago.

I just can’t bring myself to tell them. I’m glad I’m doing this and I’m even a bit thankful that COVID cancelled many of the holiday gatherings where pictures are taken. Next year at this time, I’ll be done with my initial set and either in refinement trays or a retainer. Just one year. I can’t believe that.

I’m glad I get to share my journey with you all. Hope you’re staying healthy and safe.

Side note: Without Invisalign in, my two front teeth meet my bottom teeth. They have never met before in my life. My bite has definitely made the greatest progress. It’s crazy because it was the thing he was most worried about and the thing that is getting corrected the fastest!

Before (one week in Invisalign):
ACE30277-F589-4EC5-B3E5-DC8A2259AA20.jpeg

Now (three months in Invisalign):
45FF8F32-0992-468C-ABFB-BB654C777974.jpeg
 
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Spider

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Oct 26, 2013
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143
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Pacific Northwest, USA
Wow!!! I can see the change already especially in your bite! I was asked if I was interested in invisaline at my cleaning today and thought of you and your journey. I'm not quite there yet, but who knows where I'll be in a year, as you are proof of that!
If I remember right, you were concerned that shifting around your teeth could cause problems with some deep fillings (forgive me if I'm remembering wrong!). Do you still worry about that or is the process quite gentle?
 
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thisisme

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Wow!!! I can see the change already especially in your bite! I was asked if I was interested in invisaline at my cleaning today and thought of you and your journey. I'm not quite there yet, but who knows where I'll be in a year, as you are proof of that!
If I remember right, you were concerned that shifting around your teeth could cause problems with some deep fillings (forgive me if I'm remembering wrong!). Do you still worry about that or is the process quite gentle?

Thanks, Spider. Yes I was very worried about that but 10 trays in, it’s definitely less of a concern. I’ve had yet to experience any pain at all in my back molars (where the big fillings are) to a point I’m not even sure Invisalign is moving the last molar. I usually get pain in the second to last molar and front teeth but Invisalign pain is a different pain and goes away after a few days. The process has definitely been a lot more gentle than I thought and my ortho has me staying in trays for 10 days to not move things too fast. A lot of it is is trust too. Putting my trust is him has taken a lot of my anxiety off. He does this all the time and I see him every six weeks which helps build that confidence and relationship.
 
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Spider

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That's great! I'm glad the trays aren't pushing on the molars.
That is SO good that you can trust your orthodontist. I have a hard time trusting medical professionals in general, but I trust my dentist too and it's a good feeling.

Another question, looking back at your 12 year old self, do you think you could have managed Invisalign?
 
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thisisme

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That's great! I'm glad the trays aren't pushing on the molars.
That is SO good that you can trust your orthodontist. I have a hard time trusting medical professionals in general, but I trust my dentist too and it's a good feeling.

Another question, looking back at your 12 year old self, do you think you could have managed Invisalign?


That’s tough but I’d have to say no because I had such an extreme fear of dentists and people doing work in my mouth. I always felt very out of control in those situations so the thought of having to see a dentist/ortho every 6 weeks would have been next to impossible. I still remember when the dentist suggested braces and my heart just sank in my chest like I am never going back to the dentist ever.


I think if I managed to overcome that phobia, wearing Invisalign would have been easy as a 12 year old, though I’d probably brush less and just stuff the trays back in. Technology is a lot better then than now. Invisalign couldn’t have treated my case back then. Also there’s no mold.. just a scan... and I’m sure I would have gagged horribly during impressions. The whole process is just easier now. I do think Invisalign is a good alternative for responsible teens and I wish I would have faced my phobia much sooner but at the same time, dental offices are much nicer and comfortable now. They were so cold and unwelcoming in the 90s and early 2000s as I was growing up.
 
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thisisme

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I have a cleaning appointment on Tuesday. It’s the one with the X-rays and they do the gum pocket measure. I’m absolutely dreading it. I love going to my ortho, even if I tense up every time he does IPR. I still hate going to the dentist. I hate them looking for problems or in the past, creating problems. Ortho appointments are simply about progress. Dentist appointments are about problems. I’m afraid I’ll have a cavity on one of my bottom molar where food tends to stick. There’s no pain or anything, but I’m paranoid anyway.

I’ve considered looking at new offices but was going to see how this goes. Ever since my disagreement with my dentist about him not wanting to redo a filling, I’ve been really annoyed. I feel like he’s a bit cocky and full of himself, and I’m afraid to ever bring up problems to him because it seems like he always wants to blame my deep filling, even though all the testing showed the roots were fine. One of his top fillings (not the deep one) can be sensitive to sweets. It’s really got to be something super sweet, which I rarely eat so it doesn’t really bother me. I actually would not be surprised if the X-ray showed a cavity under the filling because he hasn’t done them since he filled it. I know he’d find a way to blame me though, even though he didn’t drill it all out. I’m getting ahead of myself, but it’s just the fact that I don’t feel like he listens to me.

I don’t talk much to my ortho. I kinda like this mutual, in/out/done system we have that keeps appointments at 10 minutes haha, but I definitely like him better.

Anyway, the Invisalign journey is still going pretty well. I am 24% done as of tonight! Family still doesn’t know. ? There have been massive changes to my bite in the last few weeks... not so much crowding improvement, which is kind of frustrating but it’s a process. My dentist doesn’t know I got Invisalign, so that’ll be interesting. Maybe he’ll stop blaming my bite when he messes up a filling. Ha.
 
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