Broken Retainer (GRRR!)


That reminds me, I need to call the orthodontist this morning.

Way back in the wayback machine of December 2009, my orthodontist made me a Invisalign-like retainer for my upper teeth, supplanting the Invisalign tray I had been wearing. The material was slightly different, a little thicker, and a little more brittle. It also scarred where my cuspids/eye teeth on the lowers pressed into the upper tray.

By Jan 2010, it had cracked on the right side, between the cuspid and the bicuspid. I called and asked, and they informed me it would be $250 to replace it. Hot dog, I am nothing if not careful. I nursed that crack along so carefully that it did not crack ANY more at all. There was no way I was paying $250 to replace an inferior retainer.

So, now we are at present. I’m scaling back retainer-wearing time (at that time, it was full-time retainment) to about 12 hours of retainer freedom a day. That tray has been cracked for 1 year and 3 months. I dutifully support it with my finger when I’m cleaning it so that crack doesn’t take any pressure.

On Saturday, we had been at Costco for some samples snack shopping. We were leaving, empty-handed, and I was fishing for my sunglasses out of my bag. The arm caught the retainer case (and the retainers in them, since we had been sampling) and it went flying out of my bag in slow-mo, to hit the ground, pop open and both retainers pop out.

And the upper one cracked in half fully.


I knew the ortho was closed for the day and closed on Sunday, so I have to call this morning. I’m leaning towards asking for new molds to be made so I can get the Vivera retainers, which are made by Invisalign. (The lower tray that I wear is actually the last tray of my lower refinement set. The movement trays are not really designed to be worn long-term.)

Regardless, $$$. *sigh*

Invisalign Retainment Update


So, after the orthodontist cleared me for 12 (blissful!) hours of retainer-free wear a couple weeks ago, I initially felt some trepidation. I was worried that my teeth would shift during the day, as I hadn’t had the trays out for longer than a couple hours. Also, my teeth felt naked! For the first several days, I tried leaving them out longer and not brushing my teeth, but the instinct and habit was too strong.

Ok, I admit, I’m still trying to keep myself from brushing my teeth immediately after lunch.

Since 12 hours is not a full wakeful day, I kind of had to meter out my wearing. The orthodontist had suggested not wearing the trays at work, and then putting them back in when I got home.

That wasn’t really what I wanted, since being able to have dinner and/or dessert tray-less was more important to me than work-time-food.

I eventually settled on this (these are all approximate):
7:30a: Take out trays, drink coffee/tea/cocoa, eat oatmeal
8:30-9a: Brush teeth, put trays back in
12p: Take out trays, put away
9-10p: Brush teeth, put trays back in (depends on when I get ready for bed)

This ends up being 11-12 hours of “free” time. I like the re-traying in the middle of the morning, because it makes me feel less..guilty?

Anyways, after a couple of weeks of this now, the lower tray is significantly less sore at night when I put them back in. At first, it was like OW OW OW THOSE ARE TIGHT. Curiously, the upper teeth, who have been in retainment a full YEAR longer than the lowers are having more difficulty adjusting to this new regime, and the tray is consistently tight in the same spot every night.

My theory on this is that the left side eye teeth (cuspids, I think), the lower one pushes up and out on the upper one (these are the first teeth that meet when I close my jaw) and the tray pushes it back down.

Anyways, progress is being made, and it’s nice to be able to eat a brownie or whatever without hunting down the tray case.

Invisalign, Tray 8+ R

From Invisalign

Tray 8+ R on the lowers. This is a ridiculously overdue picture, as I started this tray on Dec 24 of LAST YEAR. It is now March 3, but I’ve been wearing it since. Tray 9+ seemed like too much correction. I didn’t see the ortho until last week and he agreed. They’re ordering new refinement trays for the lowers. The left front teeth are further spaced than the right. Someday I’ll get to retainers. SOMEDAY.

Also, my upper retainer cracked while we were on our honeymoon. They wanted $250 to replace it. Um, no thanks, I’ll keep using it!

Invisalign, Tray 7+ R

From Invisalign

Retainer upper, Tray 7+ R lower. This is an over-correction tray. I had hoped it would push my snaggle tooth (lower left, between the front and eye tooth) all the way forward. It seems to be caught on the back of the eye tooth and can’t quite get forward evenly. I worry that if it stays slightly back, it will have the tendency to want to migrate back in the future. I don’t see the ortho until Jan 7. The ortho still has two trays for me, both of which are overcorrections.

Invisalign, Tray 6R


Tray 6R on the lowers, and a retainer (!! note the lack of button) on the uppers:

From Invisalign

The ol’ snaggle tooth is still just a little bit behind the other teeth. And by that, I mean hardly at all, but it’s enough for my tongue to know. The next three refinement trays are overcorrections. I’m going to move into 7, but I don’t have 8 or 9, will have to go back to the ortho! 🙂

And because it is my one year (yesterday) Invisalign anniversary, I bequeath unto you

A year of movement

Invisalign, Tray 5R

From Invisalign

Here we are at Tray 5R lower. Not much to report, really. Today, I go in for my upper retainer, which will also move one of the upper front teeth forward a little. I complained last time that they seemed faintly uneven. At least I can finally stop wearing upper tray of much grossness. And no more pseudo-button on the uppers either! Seriously, I started wearing that upper tray on March 10. MARCH. It is now November 12. That is eight months of wear for a tray that is designed to be worn for two weeks. No matter how diligent I am in cleaning, it gets gross, and it is yellowed. NEW TRAY PLZ.