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My trays and I were about to get a whole lot closer. After six relatively painless weeks as an Invisalign patient, I returned to Dr. Jacquie s office for the next step in my teeth-straightening process. Small attachments were going to be bonded to the front of six of my teeth, three on top and three on the bottom, the placement chosen by Dr. Jacquie.

The attachments would help rotate and “pull” my teeth into position. Sounded good to me.

At my appointment, a giant plastic spreader (probably not its official name) was placed in my mouth, to keep my teeth fully exposed and my tongue in place. Have you ever tried to restrict movement from your tongue? Apparently my tongue has a mind of its own and does not like being restrained. Visualize a person on crack confined to a straight jacket. That was my tongue. Blasts of air and cool water cleaned and dried my teeth, after which a composite resin (the same thing dentists use to fix chipped teeth) was applied and dried on six of them I put my trays in. They snapped into place. I expected to feel pain but I did not. It took a little more effort to get the trays in, and then out, of my mouth but I was still remarkably pain-free. The giant plastic spreader was much more uncomfortable than this.

The attachments, when your trays are not in, feel like dried up crazy glue. You may want to run your tongue over them. You may not be able to help running your tongue over them. The same color as your teeth, the attachments are barely visible, but a close look reveals tiny bumps on your teeth that go less and less noticed as the time goes by. With the trays on, they look like little blisters on your teeth. They are very, very good at catching, and keeping, food on your teeth. (Now would be a good time to recommend you start carrying around a pocket mirror. Once I got my attachments in, I would not go to dinner, or out to eat with anyone in public, without one.)

Over the next 14 days, I got one headache and took zero aspirin. The weeks were so uneventful, I am almost disappointed. I thought my transition to attachments would be harder but other than that one headache, things have gone very smoothly. For the first few days, it did take a little more effort than usual to remove the trays (you might want to grow your nails a little), but I found that I liked the sound they made when I snapped them into position. It is those little reminders that reassure me that I’m being proactive about my teeth.

What was not uneventful these two weeks was my schedule. I was celebrating my birthday, a friend s birthday, and Father s Day. There were BBQs and summer bashes, dinners in restaurants and tequila gimlets on the beach.

I did not want to wear my trays on my birthday. So I took many more hours off from them than I had in past weeks. Appearance-wise, I feel like my jaw protrudes a little when I am wearing my trays, especially right after switching to a new one. I have not figured out if it really does (my friends say no) or if I might be compensating for the extra hardware in my mouth by puckering my lips when they are in. I just knew that I wanted to be tray-free for my birthday. As my boyfriend parked the car before my birthday date, I popped my trays out (something I was getting really good at doing) and went on my way. “Are not you so glad you did not get wire braces?” he asked. “Can you stop taking them out in front of me, though? That noise is gross, and sometimes I can, you know, see saliva.” YES!” I responded. IT was true, I was thrilled I did not have wire braces. I had have to work on not taking my trays out in front of him, though.

P.S. Before this office visit, I wondered if my teeth could really be moving so soon, and right in the direction I needed them to head. Dr. Jacquie confirmed they had moved, indeed (.75mm to be exact). Sweet!

Next week: When there is no one to blame but yourself