Written by Madison Smith | Last Updated February 24th, 2020Madison Smith is a personal and home finance expert at BestCompany.com. She works to help others make positive financial strides in their lives by providing expert insight on anything from credit card debt to home-buying tips. Follow her on Twitter @maddie_mingus for weekly doses of thought provoking financial content and a chance to connect — don’t be shy!
Invisible braces are still a fairly new service that thousands of people are not yet familiar with. Perhaps you’ve wondered if it’s painful? Or if the price is too good to be true? Or how invisible braces treatment can affect your daily life?
We’ve asked several people to give us their honest and open feedback regarding their invisible braces experience. Here you'll find five detailed, anecdotal, unscripted responses into what people are really saying about their quest for straight teeth.
A chance for adults to smile in confidence
Sarah: “I'm a 46-year-old mother of three teenagers. The last of my three just celebrated the end of braces. I had braces myself as a teenager, but I noticed my teeth moving again after I turned 40. It's amazing how your body changes after you reach 40! Both the top and bottom were beginning to shift. I mentioned to my children's orthodontist that maybe it was my turn for braces. She confirmed that they were shifting and would only get worse, so I decided to go with Invisalign. The first three trays were worn for two weeks each, all of the subsequent trays are worn for ten days before switching to a new set. My treatment is seventeen trays, and I should finish in November. My teeth are almost completely straight again!”
At this point in the treatment, Sarah is loving the change in her teeth. But she also expresses a few drawbacks she has faced during the invisible braces treatment thus far:
“I'm constantly excusing myself to remove them in restaurants and at work since you can't eat with them in. Also, they stain...I drink coffee/tea, so they start to yellow. Yuck. I use Efferdent every other day to refresh them and brush them multiple times a day. The teeth hurt the first few days of a new tray. Trying to bite an apple/corn/ribs with the front teeth is torture.”
Despite these few hiccups Sarah faces in her journey for straighter teeth, she concludes that overall she is very happy with Invisalign and definitely recommends them to someone in search of a straighter smile.
A walk through the at-home invisible braces process
Tori: “I first made the decision to use Smile Direct Club in April of 2019. It was a simple process — I just went to their website and ordered an impression kit, and it arrived at my house within two weeks. Doing the impressions was easy; I had no problems.
After I confirmed that I wanted to start treatment, I received a box with all of my aligners (six months' worth), lip balm, and some teeth whitening pen samples, and chewies (something you bite down on to set the aligners onto your teeth).
Getting started was easy. The aligners feel tight at first, which I like because I know they’re working. The first week was hard to adjust to, but after that I sometimes forgot they’re in my mouth. I’m currently on month five out of six, and the results have been amazing so far.
Some people may not like that you don’t see an orthodontist regularly, but I haven’t had any problems. As long as you follow the rules you should be fine. Lastly, the price is way better than if you were to get traditional braces. That was a big part of why I chose Smile Direct Club. I definitely recommend it to anyone who wants straighter teeth in a more convenient way.”
What it’s like after treatment ends
Anonymous: "I received invisible braces from Invisalign. My expectations were to easily straighten my teeth using clear aligners, and overall I was pleased with the straightening results. Still, I wear retainers every night because my teeth want to shift back to their original positioning during the day. I foresee needing to do this for some time, but the retainers are comfortable so it is not problematic.
I do recommend invisible braces to others wanting to straighten their smiles. However, it is important to know that once you are finished, you may or may not be completely satisfied with your smile. Having clear conversations with your dental professional about what you like and don’t like about your smile prior to treatment is recommended so you can determine if invisible braces are the best solution for the end result that you are seeking."
A caution about discomfort and up keep
Natasha: “I purchased invisible braces from Candid earlier this year and was very excited to start using my aligners. My crooked front tooth is basically all I noticed in photos of myself, and I’ve wanted to try them for years. Through a teledentistry company, I was able to purchase aligners more affordably than at my dentist’s office. Doing remote treatment was also a better option for me than in-person appointments because I have a young toddler at home.
Although Candid is a helpful and professional company, I have not had a good experience with clear braces. People talk about 'discomfort,' but for me they HURT. The first few days, I could barely even eat at mealtimes when I took my aligners out because my teeth hurt so bad. I didn’t want to talk to my daughter because my mouth hurt so much. My tongue had sore spots from rubbing against the edges of the plastic.
I am still in treatment. I can tell my teeth are moving, and the aligners do become less painful the longer they’re in, but I can always tell they're there. The advertisements make clear braces seem so effortless, but they aren’t. I would caution friends interested in clear aligners that they may be painful and difficult. They are still braces, and moving your teeth is a big commitment.”
Lasting changes to your smile
Becky: “I got Invisalign six years ago and am still happy with the outcome! I’m now 37 years old and my teeth look great. I achieved a near perfect smile without the trouble of metal braces that look ugly and make people feel uncomfortable and unconfident. I would recommend invisible braces to adults or older teens that can keep up with the maintenance of having invisible braces. My expectations were met highly!”
The bottom line
There you have it, a real behind the scenes look into the invisible braces process. Most of these respondents would recommend clear aligner treatment to a friend due to factors of convenience, price point, and the short timeline, but not without a word a caution to consider issues of discomfort and upkeep. If you’re in the market for straighter teeth, it is important to weigh these pros and cons and decide if invisible braces is the right option for you. To check out more details on top performing brands, begin your search here.