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Teeth Straightening : 5 Tips I Learnt within my First 2 Weeks of Invisalign Treatment

You’ve decided to do it.

Congratulations!

After years of debating the pros and cons and wondering if paying the $’s is worth it. 

You’ve spent hours doing the research and you cannot bear to watch another YouTube video, listening to a patient vent about what went wrong with their treatment, or what number refinement tray they’re at, and you’ve read the blogs that state their 8 month treatment turned into 24 months.

Regardless of all that, you’re in.  100%.

Clear aligners made their way onto the market in the late 90’s in North America, and since then, the number of providers has increased.  I know I can’t scroll through social media anymore without being bombarded with advertisements.

 At the time of writing this post, I was on my 2nd tray.  26 more to go, and these are the things that NO ONE mentioned. 

#1 Drool

Getting comfortable with your saliva.

Excess saliva, lack of saliva (also see point #2), bloody saliva, saliva that gets in the way when you remove and insert the trays, saliva that you unintentionally spit when you speak, saliva that you end up sucking out of your trays (whilst wearing them, resulting in sucking noises) in order to speak properly; saliva. 

It’s just everywhere.  So get used to it.

Oh, and at night.  You will drool.  Your saliva may also have blood in it because of the trays rubbing against your gums and the inside of your cheek, so be prepared to wake up to find pink circles of drool on your pillow in the morning.  (little tip I found on removing the blood is to hand wash your pillowcase with shampoo and soak for a couple of hours before washing).

You’re welcome.

You will find your own ways of dealing with your drool.

You have no choice.

#2 Dehydration

Keep that refillable water bottle handy.

With all this drooling, your mouth will become dry and if you’re lucky enough to have elastics like I am, keeping yourself hydrated will ensure that the elastics don’t become dry and rub against the inside of your cheeks causing irritation and bleeding.

I also recommend drinking plain water as you can drink this with your trays in and there is no need to brush your teeth afterwards. 

If you drink tea, coffee, soda, juice, anything that isn’t plain old water, you need to brush your teeth in order to prevent decay.

Constantly removing your trays and brushing your teeth is time consuming and can be a hassle to do, especially at work. 

The less you remove your trays, the easier your life will be.

#3 Lip Balm

Stock up and keep a stick in every jacket pocket, every bag, every drawer and have a couple spare.  Your lips will dry out (with all the drooling), and I find the trays have a tendency to suck moisture away from your lips.  Or they attract too much moisture, hence the drool. 

My suggestion is to stay away from tinted lip balm and lipsticks as these can end up on your trays, possibly staining the tray and no one likes lipstick on their ‘teeth’.

#4 Soft Foods

Do NOT eat hard or crunchy foods.

I was out having lunch with a friend and I ordered a brussel sprout salad.  Normally this would be ok, but the sprouts were kinda crunchy and my teeth were still getting used to the trays.  Also, when you remove the trays, your teeth are way more sensitive due to the shifting taking place, and it can take a few minutes for them to adjust to not having the trays for stability.

Potato chips are also out.  As are chickpeas.

But by all means try them. 

I suggest sticking to mushy foods or soft foods that require less chewing, at least for the first couple of weeks.  Think of toddlers who are teething and what foods they eat. 

#5 Waving Your Hand in Front of your Mouth to Hide the Trays Attracts More Attention  

Every time I would talk to someone, I would bring a hand up to my mouth to hide the trays, as I was so self-conscious of them and the spit that would sometimes escape.

But this does the exact opposite, of my intention. 

It brings way more attention to your mouth and if you don’t want people to know that you have Invisalign, don’t do this.  (And isn’t that why you chose Invisalign?  So no one notices them?!).

Most people can’t see the trays unless they are up close and personal. 

So, try not to wave your hand in front of your mouth.

NB: Yes, I do realize that writing posts about your experience with Invisalign also attracts attention to the fact that you have Invisalign.

Oh, and a couple of Bonus Tips…

Bonus Tip #1

You will develop a Lisp.

Not avoidable. 

You have your teeth covered in plastic, your speech is bound to be slightly different.  Now this was mentioned in numerous blogs and in ALL (well, the ones I read) said that the lisp will go away after a bit of practice.

When I originally wrote this post, I was on week 2 and I am now on week 10 and I still have a lisp.  I cannot for the life of me say S’s and my brain is on double duty by finding words that don’t contain the letter S.

It has gotten better over time, and it is noticeable to my ears, but I’ve realized that not many people pick up on this.

Bonus Tip #2

Ask your dentist if you will require elastics. 

This was NEVER mentioned on any videos or blog posts. 

To say it was a bit of a shock when I went in for my treatment plan reveal, and was told this, is an understatement.

I thought elastics were only for metal braces, but I was wrong. 

But thank goodness the elastics are ‘clear’. 

As clear as a the Caribbean sea during a hurricane.

I don’t wear my elastics when I have a lot of talking to do in meetings.  But at all other times, yeah, I wear them. 

What’s a little more plastic in my mouth?

The best part of the treatment plan reveal is watching your simulation treatment view.

This is a computer generated view in 3D which shows what your teeth look like now and how they will change throughout the weeks ahead.

You can view from all angles and it’s incredible! 

My advice to others thinking about going down this route, is to talk to your dentist and listen to their recommendations.  And ask a lot of questions.

One blog post recommended having quotes and advice from different dentists as the price can vary, and knowledge is power right? 

I am pleased I did.  I received quotes with up to 2K differences in price, and gained information and clarity on the process. 

Oh, and when you visit your dentist to pick up new trays, ALWAYS say yes to additional supplies. 

You can never have too many tubes of toothpaste, boxes of floss, spare brushes (you’ll need to keep one on your person at all times, along with your lip balm), so make sure you come away with a little goody bag each time you pick up new trays.

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Eczema : The Red, Raw Truth & 6 Home Remedies Using Ingredients From Your Cupboards

No matter what time of year it is, our skin, the bodies largest organ, requires a little extra care, especially for those who suffer from eczema.

 

Eczema is an umbrella term for a group of diseases which are caused by inflammation. This in turn, causes dry, itchy, sensitive skin that if left untreated, can turn into an infection.

 

Keeping in mind, that there is no cure for this dis-ease, and with the old saying, prevention is better than cure, we have compiled a list of home remedies from adult eczema suffers (myself being one of them) and dermatologist advice.

 

If you think you may have eczema, your GP is the first health care professional to turn to. They will help diagnosis your specific condition and provide a treatment plan or refer you to a dermatologist.

 

Eczema is a symptom of a break in the skins barrier, which would otherwise keep bacteria from penetrating the epidermis.

 

Why some people are more prone to eczema than others is unknown. Research has shown that when an irritant or trigger makes contact with the immune system, skin cells do not behave as they ‘should’, resulting in inflammation.

 

This makes the condition specific to each individual. Environmental factors, food intolerances and allergens, are just a few examples of what may be a trigger.

 

Skin specialists can be one of your greatest resources as they have a variety of handy tricks that can make life a little more bearable. Some of the tips below, came from dermatologists. However, you are the expert on your own body.

 

There are so many products that claim to reduce itching and redness, and it can seem like a daunting task to find what works for you. It is through trial and error that sufferers find a combination that works. Recommendations from others is a great place to start. Talk to friends and family. Eczema is hereditary and you may find that what works for a relative, may work for you. For example, both my sister and I avoid dairy products, a trigger for many sufferers.

 

Although eczema is more commonly seen in babies and young children (20 percent worldwide), in adults this is approximately three percent.

 

Adults who suffered from eczema as a child, may continue to suffer as an adult however it is usually a much milder form. According to the University of Iowa Stead Family Children’s Hospital, 2/3 children do grow out of eczema, although they are prone to dry skin in adulthood.

 

The following tips are just suggestions.

I cannot stress enough, just how important it is to listen to your own body. It will tell you what it likes, and most importantly, what it doesn’t like.

Water as remedy against eczema6 Home Remedies : Using ingredients you have in your cupboards

 

1 : Drink Cold Water
Seems simple enough, right?!

A lot of the time we simply forget to drink during the day.

Start your day off with a glass of water, perhaps with a slice of fresh lemon. Keeping yourself hydrated during the day is a great routine to get into. Water also helps to flush toxins out of your body.

Inflammation within the body generates heat and by drinking water, you can quickly lower your temperature.

Drinking also forces you to slow down, so your body can complete the task. When a flare-up hits, you body and mind become agitated. In order to drink, you need to be relatively still.

2 : Ice It

Wrap an ice cube or TWO in a clean tea towel and apply this directly onto the skin. If this is too cold, wrap the ice in a few more layers so your skin gradually adapts to the temperature.

This takes the heat out of the eczema, and the desire to itch will start to die down.

A pack of frozen peas is just as effective!

3 : Baking Soda Bath

Run a lukewarm bath and add about four tablespoons of baking soda.

Bathe for 15-20 minutes.

Pat dry your skin and slather your skin in moisturizer immediately after.

Bed time is the best time for this, as your body starts to slow down after the day and it can also aid restful sleep.

An alternative is to add a tablespoon of baking soda to a bowl of lukewarm water bowl. Apply to the effected areas with a soft cloth.

Sea salt is an alternative to baking soda, or you can try a combination. For sea salt, start with four tablespoons and you can always add more if you prefer. Pink Himalayan salt chunk are another alternative to sea salt.

These options are anti-bacterial and can help to reduce infection and aid the healing process.

4 : Occlusion Wrapping

Basically this is wrapping your limbs in cling film. Sounds weird, but it works!

I’d recommend starting with either your arms and legs as they are the easiest areas to wrap. Try one arm, or one leg to see if this option is for you.
When my eczema was at it’s worst, my dermatologist recommended doing this. I thought he was crazy. But at that point I was desperate to try anything!

I ended up using this method a lot and would buy cling film in bulk!

The heat generated by the wrapping, helps the moisturizer to penetrate deeper and faster into the layers of your skin. Sometimes the heat generated is too much and can cause itching, so use this with caution. I would experiment with how tight I wrapped my limbs. If it became too hot, I wrapped my limb slightly looser, so I could pull the cling film away from my skin to let some of the heat escape.

After applying moisturizer, wrap the effected areas in cling film. It can be difficult to move after you have wrapped, so it’s best to do it once you are ready to sleep and in bed.

Moisturize to help prevent eczema4 : Moisturize

Word of caution – test each moisturizer or oil on a small patch of skin first, before lathering yourself up.

When your skin is itchy, it’s telling you that hydration is required. Relief can come as quickly as applying a layer (or several) of moisturizer onto your skin.

Look at the ingredients on the back of the bottle. The lowest number of ingredients, the better. Also, try to avoid fragrances and lanolin. There are moisturizers on the market specific for eczema, which is great! However, what may work for one person, may not work for another. Again, it’s trial and error. But your friends will be happy with your rejects!

5 : Oatmeal Bath

Grind oatmeal so fine, that it mixes with the water and does not sink to the bottom of the tub.

You can buy this from your local drug store, or you can do it yourself at home. A coffee grinder or food processor will do the job.

Soak for 10 minutes.

Rinse off afterwards in a lukewarm shower. Pat your skin dry before applying your moisturizer.

Meditation to help prevent eczema

6 : Meditation

This may seem a little airy fairy, but there is no harm, right?!

When the itching begins, the mind starts to spin faster and faster and we get caught on a loop.

A loop of, ‘this is itchy I need to scratch. Oh, I shouldn’t have scratched. Now my eczema is painful, weeping and oozing. I should know better not to scratch, but it’s still itchy, Oh, I shouldn’t have scratched.’

Closing your eyes, and breathing deeply through your nose, can help your mind to slow down. Listening to a meditation, which reminds you to breathe, can also be helpful.

Find one on YouTube and listen to it as you fall asleep.

 

There is a lot of information out there and there are many websites and organizations that are great resources! They offer practical advice and knowledge as they are led by health professionals or by sufferers themselves.

Below are just a few.

https://www.eczema.org.au/

https://nationaleczema.org

https://eczemahelp.ca

https://draxe.com/eczema-symptoms/

http://www.skincarecentre.ca/

https://www.dermnetnz.org/

As someone who has suffered from eczema all their life, I know how hard and frustrating this dis-ease can be.

This is not just a physical dis-ease, as it can effect your mental health as well. Talking and sharing our experiences is a great way to combat this, both physically and mentally.

I’d love to hear your experiences and what your go-to remedies are.

 

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