Before + After: 5 things I learned from my Invisalign experience 

Before + After: 5 things I learned from my Invisalign experience 
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This paid content was created in partnership with Lineberger Orthodontics.

After 16 months in total (remember me?), I am finally done with Invisalign and living my best, straight-teeth life. It’s true what they say – the days are long and the years are short.

“Before.” This photo will never die. It’s fine.


Now on the other side of this super popular treatment, here are the things I learned in case you’re considering it for yourself.

(1) Don’t fixate on the end date.

I was in the treatment process for 16 months, but that didn’t mean I had to wear trays all day every day. We did a couple rounds of “refinements” at the end, meaning the Lineberger Orthodontics crew took new scans and ordered new trays – this meant I got to take multi-week breaks along the way.

I had a sense of the timeline when I started, but I definitely recommend thinking of that as a ballpark and not a deadline. Which brings me to…

(2) Trust the experts.

The Lineberger team takes a nerdy amount of pride in knowing everything there is to know about Invisalign. Toward the end, Dr. Matt gave me the option: “Do you want to be done now? You can be done now if you’re ready, but if you have patience, there are a few things I would want to tweak to get you as close to 100% perfect as possible.”

Wrapping up early was super tempting, but if you’re going to invest in the process and in yourself, do it right. I told Matt I wanted to get to perfection too and I was really glad I did. Now I’m done and don’t have to have any regrets or “what ifs,” because I know how important it is to the Lineberger team to give you the best possible smile they can.

(3) Get ready to join the cult.

Fair warning: People who have had Invisalign in the past will want to talk to you about it when they see that you’re wearing trays. This happened way more often than I expected. Just think of it as a cool club you get to be a part of, and don’t get paranoid that your trays are really noticeable. Once you’ve gone through it, you just pay more attention.

(4) Think about your retainer preferences and ask about your options before the end of treatment.

Going into it, I knew I was a nervous about having any sort of permanent retainer. The Lineberger team reassured me that I should try it (just on my bottom teeth) for a few months and that I could remove it later if I really hated it.

I’m glad I listened to them, because it really doesn’t bother me at all, and I don’t have to stress that my teeth are about to move back any second.

As for the plastic retainers (which I only wear at night), I’d definitely explore their “retainer for life” program with a copay for replacements… for life. If you’ve got a dog or kids or a tendency to lose things, it’s a no-brainer.

(5) Stay focused on the goal.

You’re going to put time, effort and resources in to getting a new smile, so really give some thought to what this change will allow you to do differently.

For me, my crooked bottom teeth always made me feel self-conscious on video. I knew that once I finished my Invisalign “journey,” I might feel differently about opportunities to be on screen as a person with a media career.

A post shared by Drs M and M (@linebergerortho) on

Remembering that throughout the process kept me motivated to wear my trays diligently, follow the rules and not cut it short when the end was in sight.

What is that thing for you? Stepping up that profile photo? Feeling more confident at work? Figure that out and focus on that motivation, from the minute you start doing your Invisalign research.

Experience it for yourself.

Reach out to the Lineberger Orthodontics fam – you’re in good hands.

This paid content was created in partnership with Lineberger Orthodontics.
Cover photo by Duncan Littlefield.

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