My Invisalign Journey – 2. Settling In and Setting Up

Previous articles in the series: Prologue, Part 1

I’m now home, with set 1 on my teeth, and sets 2-10 in a bag. I also have two small travel containers for the trays. There’s also this rubber device I can use to help seat the trays if I need it. I am on my own until my next appointment in 10 weeks.  My way of eating and drinking is over, and I’m in this strange new world I wasn’t entirely prepared for.

First thing to do is set everyting up in the bathroom, and figure out some sort of timing mechanism. Yes, I’m determined to do this right (MASSIVE $$ investment, I’m not going to be careless), so I’m going to make SURE that I don’t have these things out for more than 2 hours in a day. I’m going to clock it.

Timers
There are timer apps on my phone, my tablet, my laptop, and my desktop computer. I have a timer in the kitchen.

  • The kitchen timer is ruled out, since I’ll be using this thing every day for at least a year.
  • Desktop and laptop apps are ruled out. I’m going to be managing this in the bathroom, so I want something right there that’s easy.
  • Apps on the phone or tablet are what I start with.

During the first week I tire of using apps for timing. I have to remember to bring the phone or tablet with me when it’s time to take out my teeth. Then, with wet hands, I’m unlocking the device, opening the app, and hitting start or stop on the timer. It works of course, but it’s just kind of annoying. I’m going to be starting and stopping a timer multiple times a day, every day, for over a year. This is exactly the kind of task that calls for a purpose-built device with a physical button rather than an “occasional use” app. So off to Walmart I go.

They have a few timers, in the kitchen gadget aisle, that advertise the ability to count up – that’s what I want. Hit the button to start, hit the button to stop, and at the end of the day it needs to be less than 2 total hours. There’s a $5 one, and being cheap, that’s what I get. After 2 weeks it pretty much craps out on me, so I end up buying the $20 one after all. Should have just started with that. It’s great – easy to use buttons and it tracks more than 99 minutes, so it’s totally clear how much time I’ve had my teeth out.

Note that I’m currently unemployed, and at home most of the time, so this works for me. If I were out and about more, I’d probably use a timer app that travels better, because portability would become the more important feature.

Tray Management
I have 10 little plastic bags with my trays in them. They’re numbered. I’ll be opening a new one every Wednesday. I’m a semi-hoarder and want to keep all of them until this is over, so I can compare the last one to the first one, just to see my progress. So I found a tupperware container that fits 10 of these things, and it will sit in my bathroom linen closet, ready when I need it.

Travel necessities
I’m going to have to carry a holder, and a toothbrush with me now. If I want to eat or drink while I’m not at home, I have to take my trays out, put them in the container and store them. Then go brush my teeth and put the trays back in when I’m done. OK. Walmart once again. In the school supplies aisle there are pencil holders for kids. Perfect. Combine that with a folding travel toothbrush, travel size toothpaste, travel size floss, and I’m set.

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The Invisalign Gear.

So I’ve got the gear thing handled now. Every new project or hobby has its own accessory requirment. Invisalign is no different.

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