SMILE! Say Cheese.....with your Toronto Invisalign attachments!

Ever since I started Invisalign, two of the most common questions I get from patients about attachments are, "are they very noticeable in the front?" and "will they stain easily?"  I actually have 4 attachments on my top front teeth (lateral incisors and canines). I have gone through numerous 25 min Invisalign appointments talking to patients face to face (no mask), about 1-2 ft apart and they still never knew I was wearing Invisalign! I usually tell my patients that I have Invisalign at the end of the appointment because it puts them more at ease knowing that it's barely noticeable even 1 ft away. My attachments are slightly stained and that is due to my love for green tea and Chinese/Indian food! When drinking green tea, I usually use a straw to reduce the amount of staining. I also suggest to all my patients that they have a very thorough brush right after eating/drinking foods/liquids that will stain their attachments easily.  I would recommend using a whitening toothpaste as this may help with the attachments slightly. 

For everyone who is self conscious about stained attachments, or just attachments in general, I've posted a collage of close up smile pictures (of myself) from Feb 2012-present. I tried to find pictures of myself with and without the aligners on to show you the difference. Most of these were taken at restaurants so you'll notice that I wasn't wearing the aligners at the moment.  Here are some of my Invisalign attachment pictures :

Real life Invisalign attachment pictures

I would love to hear your feedback on how you feel about your attachments! Thanks for reading! 

Keep smiling =)


50% Done Invisalign with Unionville, Ontario Orthodontist!

We had such a busy last few months leading into September at MCO's Unionville Orthodontist office.    Most parents don't want their kids to miss school, so summer is a really busy time at the office.

Outside of the office, we had some great weather.  So now that the summer bbq's have come to an end, I'm secretly happy because I don't have to constantly take my aligners on and off! As stated in the title, I am about 50% through my treatment! My teeth have moved a lot! My upper two front teeth (previously overlapped) have shifted so much that I'm actually comfortable smiling from ear to ear.  The overlapping was always something I was self conscious about.  I honestly can't wait to see what they will look like in 5, 6, 7, 8....12 months!  

One topic I wanted to write about today was headaches.  I am very prone to getting them (3-4 times a week) and I realized it only got to this number after I started treatment.  I was expecting this to happen because 1) I was already getting headaches and 2) Ortho treatment can cause headaches due to the movement of the teeth.  I will admit that every time I change into a new aligner I get a headache.  Even though I always switch into new sets at night time, I find myself waking up with a headache.  Invisalign is not the sole reason for this, but they do cause tension on the teeth which can lead to headaches.  This is also the case with braces.  When switching into my last 2 sets, I took some Tylenol before going to sleep and it did relieve the severity of the headache when I woke up in the morning.  Some of our Invisalign patients at the office told me they experience this as well, but they know it's only temporary during treatment.  If you are prone to headaches/migraines, I would recommend you switch into your new aligners at night time and use chewies often to reduce any soreness.

Speaking of chewies, many people are not familiar with them.  For anyone who has Invisalign or is planning on getting it, I definitely recommend you ask your Orthodontist to provide you with chewies.  Chewies are rubber like rolls (looks like a cotton roll) that you chew on to stimulate your blood flow and relieve any discomfort.  Here's a link to a video made by Dr. Tam a few years ago (not sure why the video is so shaky, but you'll get the point):

Aside from all the shifting and aligning, more people are starting to notice my Invisalign.  Maybe it's because I'm constantly smiling?  It's not my family or friends that are commenting, it's the cashier at a local pharmacy, my banker, sales associate at a clothing store, and even my high school teacher! The one thing we all have in common is Invisalign! All of us are currently in treatment.  The sales associate actually stopped me in the store and asked me several questions regarding Invisalign (She knew I was a hygienist).  We ended up talking for 20 minutes!

I had some progress photos taken today to share with all of you.  You can see the direct comparison of how my teeth looked when I initially started to now...

I'm loving the progress so far! 

Hope you guys are enjoying the Fall/Autumn season! 

Til' next time, keep smiling! =)


Invisalign IPR - aka interproximal reduction, slenderization, polishing, discing

Hi everyone! I'm sorry I haven't been able to post in over a month. This summer has been really busy.  I've attended many BBQ's this summer and I admit it has been a little difficult at times with the aligners. I found myself constantly removing the aligners to quickly snack and then put them back on. Eventually I would just have one meal (main course at the bbq) and that's it. I would say that was the only down fall to the aligners this summer.  I still maintained my 22hrs/ day very well. There may have been 1-2 days I only got 20hrs in. Overall, I'm still very content with Invisalign and would definitely recommend it to anyone who can find an experienced doctor to work with. I'm still going strong with only a handful of people noticing! I'm hoping I can keep this up for another year!

A few weeks ago I had 1PR (interproximal reduction) done. Dr. Tam, my Toronto Invisalign orthodontist and boss :), used a thin disc (like sand paper or a gritty floss) to create 0.2mm of space between some of my upper and lower anterior teeth. This space is barely noticeable and it helps the teeth move in a certain direction for the following stages. I posted a video to show you what the IPR procedure looks like. Feel free to comment or ask any questions!

I just realized that I only have 50 more weeks to go until I'm done treatment! There are so many changes happening to my teeth and I can't wait to see the end result! 

Thanks for reading everyone! 

Keep smiling =)


Markham Invisalign Journey So Far...

Hi everyone! I apologize for my overdue blog post. I am currently halfway through aligner 9 and noticing some changes. According to my simulation, my anterior teeth are all being pushed forward to create room for movement. The posterior molars will not be shifting because they are already aligned.  My once inseparable lower front teeth now have an even larger space between them! I'm definitely not used this. Although its 100 times easier for me to floss in this area, it's also the number one food trap! I've also noticed that my smile is starting to look a little different now that the teeth are slightly pushed forward.  A few people have also commented on this.  It doesn't really bother me because I know it's part of the process.

As for my attachments, they are not as white as they were in the previous pictures I posted.  I am an avid green tea drinker and as we all know, tea in a culprit for staining teeth. I'm also East Indian, so a lot of our ethnic foods stain easily. My attachments are slightly stained, but nothing out of the ordinary. I also try to drink all my liquids through a straw to prevent staining.  I noticed that using a whitening toothpaste directly on the attachments reduces the staining slightly. I've been using whitening toothpaste for several years now with a Sonicare electric toothbrush. I brush for the normal 2-3 minutes and then spend an extra 30 seconds - 1 minute just on the attachments. This stain reducing method may not work for everyone, but it has been for me so far.

Here are some progress photos that were taken a week ago.

By the way, no one has noticed the aligners yet!

Keep smiling =)


Invisalign Progress ! =D

I know it's been a few weeks since my last post so I thought I would give an update as to how I am doing with Invisalign in Toronto. I am currently midway through aligner #6 and I'm noticing some movement.  There is a slight space between my lower incisors and I can feel my upper canines starting to move as well. It's all so exciting! I've realized that each aligner has different pressure points.  For instance, with aligner #5 I felt more 'tightness' around my lower incisors, whereas with aligner #6 I'm feeling pressure on my upper canines. As strange as this may sound, I actually enjoy the soreness that comes along with the aligners. It makes me feel more at ease because I know my teeth are moving. Even though there is only slight movement so far, I find myself in front of the mirror staring at my teeth several times a day. I will post pictures next week to share my progress with all of you.

On a side note, it's week 11 and no one has noticed yet! I'm hoping I can keep this up for another 73 weeks =D


My MCO Invisalign Experience: Invisalign Attachments

I had my attachments placed on one week ago at MCO Orthodontics.  Attachments are little bumps that are bonded to specific teeth to help move them in certain directions throughout your treatment.  The number of attachments varies per person.  In my case I needed 13! Thankfully they aren't very noticeable.  After getting used to the first two aligners, it was a very strange feeling to have 13 little bumps on my teeth.  When I first put on aligner 3 with the attachments, it was so difficult for me to remove the aligners due to the 13 attachments.  I'm still using the same removal technique as shown in the video, but I found a pattern that works better for me.  Everybody will find a technique that works for them.

Here's a video all about attachments made by Dr. Tam with my co-workers Aya and Mandy:

I bite my lower lip sometimes because of the position of one of the attachments.  Because I’m so used to having the attachments, I don’t realize I have them until I bite my lip when I’m chewing.  The feeling is comparable to “accidently biting on your lip.”

I can definitely feel my teeth starting to move now.  The aligners fit much more snug around my teeth and sometimes cause soreness.  However, I was expecting this to happen.  Traditional braces or invisalign will definitely cause some soreness because your teeth are shifting. The first 3 days of wearing the new aligners with my attachments on were a little discomforting because of how tight they fit.  Now that it’s been almost a week, I don’t feel a thing.

These past couple of days have been a lot better.  I’ve gotten used to having the attachments, but now I’m so paranoid that they will stain yellow if I don’t immediately brush after my meals. So far so good! Like I mentioned before, nobody has noticed that I’m wearing invisalign. I hope I can keep this up for the next year and a half!

I've posted some pictures of me getting the attachments placed on. There are a few steps involved.  Enjoy!

 It is really important that the saliva does
not touch the surface of the teeth in order
for the glue to adhere properly. This is why 
I have those white cheek retractors in my mouth.

 After placing the attachments on a blue UV light is
used to help harden the glue. 

After removing the trays, all the attachments must 
be properly trimmed to allow the aligners to fit
correctly. This is the most tedious part of the 
appointment because the attachments shapes must be 
very accurate. 

Voila! All my attachments are on and I am wearing
aligner 3. You may be able to see the attachments 
up close, but you definitely can't from far! It's great!

Thanks for reading!

Keep smiling =)


My First Week with Invisalign So Far...

My aligners finally arrived! I've been wearing them for exactly one week now and I absolutely love it.  There hasn't been a single person who's noticed my aligners unless I've told them. When I initially put them on it felt really strange. My bite was instantly altered and I had a tendency to clench on  my teeth a lot.  However, after 2-3 days I got used to them and was okay. I was expecting some soreness and pain, but surprisingly I didn't experience much.  One morning I woke up and my lower front teeth were sore.  I took some Tylenol and never experienced that pain again! The main reason I'm not experiencing as much soreness is because I'm constantly biting on the 'chewies.'  The chewie is a soft cylinder shaped item and is used throughout your invisalign treatment.  When you chew on it, it helps stimulate your blood flow which decreases any discomfort. It also helps seat the aligners more snug around your teeth. I still find myself having a slight lisp when talking for long periods of time. When I take the aligners on and off, I'll have a lisp for a few minutes and then I adjust to it. 

To be honest, invisalign hasn't been a big challenge for me which is great! I've gotten so used to them that I feel like I've been wearing them for months.

Here is a video of me taking my Invisalign aligners on and off:

The funniest moment for me so far was just this past weekend when I was grabbing something to eat.  I completely forgot that I had the aligners on and quickly remembered when I went to take a bite.  Unfortunately for me there were lots of people around and no restroom in sight. I felt a little funny taking aligners out of my mouth in the middle of a large crowd. My friend had to cover me and I removed my aligners  I'm sure we made an even bigger scene with her hovering over me haha!

I've added a simulation of how my teeth are going to change over time. It's so exciting being able to see the next step of your treatment!

If you're interested in finding out more about Invisalign, check out our website all about Invisalign in Toronto.  Til next time, keep smiling! 



The Toronto Invisalign Consultation

Like most of our Toronto Invisalign patients, this is the appointment I was a little nervous and excited about.  It began with a series of eight pictures, which included some exterior facial shots and some images of my teeth.  Following this, a digital panorex and cephalogram x-ray was taken.  I then made my way to the consult room to hear about my orthodontic options.  Dr. Tam was very thorough about his treatment plan for me.  I have to say, I was pleasantly surprised to hear I was a good candidate for invisalign.  When I inquired about invisalign in the past, I was told that it wouldn't work for me.  Due to the shortening of some of my roots, correcting my bite 100% may actually affect my teeth in a negative way. Dr. Tam advised me that this would be the case with invisalign or braces.  Luckily, my priority is to correct the alignment of my teeth. After hearing the good news, I was over joyed with excitement like a kid in a candy store!  

Typically, a set of PVS impressions would be taken prior to beginning treatment, however, at our office we use digital iOC scanners. Instead of having goop in your mouth from a traditional impression, these scanners take digital images of your teeth and your invisalign aligners are created based on that.  Having the digital scan done was great! It didn't involve anything messy which I loved.  Now that the appointment was over, all I had to do was patiently wait for my aligners to arrive!  This was it, I was officially on my way to a perfect smile!  Here is a video about the iOC scanner:

Just below, I've posted my initial photos that were taken on the day of the consultation. I will continue to post photos and share my progress with all of you!  

Initial photos (Nov 2011)

The 411 On INVgirl... My Toronto Invisalign Journey.

Welcome to my blog! I am a dental hygienist at MCO Orthodontics, one of the biggest practices for Invisalign in Toronto, and Dr. Tam has given me the opportunity to begin invisalign treatment! I’ve always had rotated teeth, but it never bothered me until a few years ago.  Due to this reason, I have become very self conscious about my smile.  I cannot explain how ecstatic it makes me feel to be starting this journey. Invisalign, you are a blessing in disguise! I will share all my experiences, including the good, the bad and some tips and tricks!  I hope you will follow me on this journey to creating my brand new smile :)