Category: Life

Invisalign diary – Attachments, IPR & filling mishaps

Well, hello to people who may be interested in this dental themed topic of conversation (I know I am and love to Google other people’s experiences).

I wanted to write an update on my ‘journey’ so far with Invisalign as I’ve had the retainers for 5 months now, and time has flown by.

In my last post I hadn’t had my aligners fitted yet. So I’ll thought I’d fill you in on all the details chronologically and then give a brief overview of my thoughts on Invisalign to date.

Here we go…

The first aligner appointment

I was fitted with my aligners 2 months from my initial Invisalign appointment. My dentist gave me 4 sets of trays (to wear for two weeks at a time) and I did not have any of my attachments added initially (my scan said I’d have 14). The first 2 weeks were quite uncomfortable but mainly in terms of my mouth adjusting to having a chunk of plastic in there which did give me a couple of ulcers/bleeding. However, this did stop after a couple of weeks and it wasn’t that big of a deal. Nothing I couldn’t cope with. My teeth felt a bit sensitive but mostly when I was taking the aligners in and out. Oh, and they made my mouth water so much for those first few weeks, which was quite strange! Too much saliva! I have to say though, it was pretty smooth sailing really. (I don’t know if I’m a bit unfazed by dental pain though, as I’ve had some brutal wisdom teeth experiences/dry socket so anything is better than that.)

4 weeks passed and I was booked in for another appointment to check on my progress and to have my attachments fitted, ready for trays 3 & 4…

Attachments fitting

I’d read quite a lot about the fitting online and how uncomfortable attachments were: 1. To be added at the dentist, and 2. In your mouth afterwards.

In my experience – 1. Yes, it’s not the most comfortable thing getting a random chunk of god knows what added onto your teeth – but it wasn’t painful. 2. They feel like they shouldn’t be there, but you get used to the feeling of them quickly.

The only thing to note is that it does make your aligners feel a lot tighter, but I quite like that feeling as it means they are moving your teeth effectivly. Also, the attachments do make your aligners harder to pull in and out of your mouth as they literally do feel more ‘attached’. It takes a few days to figure out your own best way to remove them.

So with that completed, I then went about my life with trays 3 & 4 until my next appointment where I would receive trays 5 & 6 and have ‘IPR’. But oh no, things were going a bit too well..

Emergency appointment – a filling fell out!

The first two months were going well, probably too well. And so my mouth decided to cost me more money and therefore ‘more problems’ by disposing of a filling after eating a popping candy chocolate bar. Not really what you need or want when you’ve already spent thousands. Obviously I panicked. I Googled! It hurt too so it needed fixing, quick.

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Invisalign diary – My experience so far

So lets start from the beginning…

Years ago I had read about Invisalign online and liked the idea of it, (well as much as you can like the idea of any braces). If you’re thinking what on earth is Invisalign, they’re essentially a set of clear removable aligners that can straighten your teeth. Read more about them here (try and see past the 90’s web design, this is actually the most informative website on it I found!) 

As a kid or teenager I never had braces, my teeth were not considered ‘bad’ enough. However, they’re not totally straight either. Sometimes I don’t mind them, other times I don’t like them – you know what it’s like. I enquired about Invisalign it at my dentist and they recommended that if I wanted to straighten my teeth I should have traditional braces, so I totally put the idea to bed there and then. I just knew that personally I’d be too self conscious about it.

Fast forward to earlier this year and a couple of people I know recently had Invisalign or consultations. I’d also watched a couple of YouTube videos where different people had good results so I was curious, again. I also felt that if I was going to do it at all I’d rather go ahead with it while I’m younger and I don’t have a commitment like kids. But first there were a few things I wanted to know:

1. I didn’t even know if Invisalign would work for me I had also assumed it was mainly for people who had already had traditional braces but their teeth had slipped back over time. I didn’t know if it could move the teeth I needed moving.

2. The cost – it’s not cheap The cost is definitely prohibitive especially as someone who lives in central London where dentists tend to be rather pricey anyway. The costs also seem to vary a lot, and most dentists say ‘from £x price’.

3. Timescale – I also assumed it would take about 2 years. When I looked at other peoples blogs/stories online I just came to that conclusion and that was a bit off-putting to me, because I didn’t think I disliked my teeth enough for 2 years of any treatment.

4. No idea what dentist/clinic to use. I’ve had some private cosmetic dentist work done before and I trust my dentist but they are expensive, especially for Invisalign. They also hadn’t done as many Invisalign cases as a lot of other clinics in London (you can look this up on the Invisalign website). There’s so many places in London that do specialise in Invisalign and orthodontic work, with good and bad reviews. It’s hard to know where to even start.

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Fundació Joan Miró – Barcelona

bluesky
mirochairs
Hello, hello, is anybody out there?! A lot of the time real life is more fun than the internet, when things get busy it’s good to live in the moment and not update your online presence… ya dig? ~ mindfulness ~ etc. etc. Anyway, hello July! Hello blog! Jeez this year has flown by. ANYWAY…

Last month I went to Barcelona, and had a mini road trip up to Cadaqués (next post!). One of the first places we visited was the Joan Miro museum, located at the top of an amazing hill in Montjuïc, Barcelona. It was super fun and colourful. The architecture of the museum is very ‘Bauhaus’ & extremely similar to the Bauhaus-Archiv in Berlin (also an incredible place if you love concrete as much as I do!) The Miro museum is much cleaner, feels lighter and more airy though. I wish I could live in a building like this.
sculpture
sketches
The place is filled with amazing drawings, sketches (all by Miro) and also a very cool bar and two awesome museum shops.
colourfuloutdoors
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A photo every hour – Monday 12th October

bedroomwakeup
I’ve never hated Mondays. I always thought Tuesday the worst day, less enthusiasm for the beginning of a new week but so long until the weekend! I wanted to try and do this photo every hour on a work day, so here is an average weekday. Monday style.

Above: 8am: I woke up and my server had decided to revert this blog back to 4 days previous – had to save everything from the cache in a panic. I also woke up on top of a dead spider. Still, it was quite bright and I can never wake up and be sad when I look at this Moomin poster.
shoreditchgrind
9am: Walking to work, which is near Old Street. I work in a tech company as an online Community Manager.
breakfast
10.30am: First cup of tea of the day and some breakfast. Gluten free fruit bread with honey and a banana. I never eat at home as 1. I am not a morning person and 2. my stomach doesn’t wake up and I feel sick in the mornings so can’t face eating until later on.
waitrose
12.30pm: A trip on my lunch break to Waitrose to grab some groceries for dinner. Also got a piece of roast chicken for my lunch.
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Book review: Gut – Giulia Enders

gut

I noticed this book in the entrance display of Waterstones and as I’ve been going through the ~ motions ~ with my own digestive system for the past couple of months, naturally I picked it up.

It said it was an international bestseller – I know, an international bestseller about the digestive system!? It must be at least funny, if not educational I thought.

I’ve read before that the gut can have an effect on your emotional well being, and that the sayings ‘butterflies in my tummy’, ‘a gut feeling’, actually have some science behind them. However, I never understood too much about the subject, I just knew from personal experience that when I’m not having a great time mentally, my stomach issues are much worse.

I have also read that serotonin is mainly produced in our gut, which is an important chemical that controls our mood, I’ve always wondered what that meant – in terms of the connections it could mean are there.

There were a couple of things that really interested me in this book, from a perspective of mental illness and digestive issues so I’ll highlight a couple of the things I found most interesting. Moreover, I did find the whole book really charmingly written, I liked the way she wrote it like lots of little stories. I learned a lot about the whole of our digestive system, and it wasn’t boring! Here are a couple of main points that stuck out to me…

Why your tummy doesn’t like stress

When you are stressed, your brain wants to solve the ‘problem’. To do this it needs to borrow energy from our gut. The gut is informed via nerves that we are stressed, and so it decides to save energy on digestion to help with the stress our brain is going through. When this happens it alters the way our gut actually works temporarily. Enders explains how this situation is not ‘designed for long term use’. If our brains think we are in an emergency situation all the time it uses the gut to ‘fund’ this. She goes on to tell us that when the gut has to forgo energy in ‘favour of our brain’ it’s own health suffers and therefore our own. This can cause the gut to become more sensitive in lots of ways – including intolerance to food and basically, poopy problems. It can also mean the ‘bad bacteria’ has more chance of taking over – which can cause illness for us. Even after long term periods of stress or mental illness, the gut can still be negatively effected. Sort of like a ‘pay back’. Which is why you might feel ill even after the initial stressful times you had.

Wheat just wants to survive being eaten by insects! A reason lots of people are intolerant or sensitive to gluten

When wheat is growing in the wild, just hanging out – it doesn’t want to be eaten by predators. It makes it’s seeds slightly poisonous so that insects don’t want to eat it, the gluten has the effect of inhibiting an important digestive enzyme which causes the grasshopper to have an tummy upset. That puts them off doing it again and again.

These seeds are what causes gluten intolerance or sensitivity in humans too. Gluten can pass into parts of our gut in a partially undigested state, Enders tells us. Basically, that means it can end up in places that our body doesn’t want or need it. Some peoples bodies react really badly to this and it causes damage, others find it causes a bit of trouble, and some people are not affected by it at all.

So in simplistic terms, that’s why gluten can be a pain in the butt for some of us, and seemingly fine for others. The book does go into the subject in more detail if you are interested to learn more.

Gut bacteria is a contributing factor to our mood

There have been lots of experiments on mice in terms of depression. A well used experiment involves making the mice swim. This is to see how long they will keep swimming until they give up and die (I know, quite sad). The mice that are less ‘depressive’ will swim for longer before they give up. Scientists test new anti-depressants in this way and it tends to show positive results if they work.

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