Clear Aligner Q+A | My First 2 Weeks with Lewis Orthodontics

OKC blogger Amanda Martin shares her experience with clear aligners at Lewis Orthodontics

When I was a kid, I wanted hot pink braces SO BAD because all my friends had them. I magically had a perfectly straight smile that never required braces. At the time I felt so left out of the club, like I was being cheated out of a major childhood / life experience. What was I thinking?! I laugh at my naivety. I was truly blessed. I should have been voted "Best Smile" in my yearbook because I had dimples and perfect teeth. It turns out, though, that around the ripe ol' age of 30 (and again around 60) your teeth can shift. Who knew!? Mine decided to do just that and after 30 years of having the perfect smile, they went rogue. It was only two teeth and wasn't overly noticeable to anyone other than me, but it started to really bug me when I saw pictures or watched myself talking in a video (I'm sort of a perfectionist, it's probably my greatest flaw).

Insert: Lewis Orthodontics in Edmond, Okla. Dr. Lewis reached out to me about working with them and I jumped at the chance. I wanted to get out ahead of the problem and hopefully prevent it from getting worse as I get, here I am. Thirty years old and getting braces for the first time. It is never too late to straighten your teeth and luckily in today's world, there are a lot of options to do it discreetly. I no longer want those hot pink bands (LOL) or anything noticeable so I opted for clear aligners

Most people probably refer to clear aligners by the well known brand name, "Invisalign," but there are several other brands offering similar products. They all do the same thing but have slight differences in materials, attachments, cost, etc. Personally, I chose to go with the clear aligner brand Ortho-Smile. Dr. Lewis actually developed the Ortho-Smile aligners to be just as effective as the expensive brand names but with a price tag that fits more people's budgets. Yes, please! Below I am doing a clear aligner Q+A with the most common questions I have received from my Instagram followers and then I will share what my experience with Lewis Orthodontics has been like from the beginning up until now (I'm two weeks into my treatment). 

OKC lifestyle blogger Amanda's OK shares her experience with clear aligners at Lewis Orthodontics

Clear Aligner Q+A

What is the cost? Ortho Smile clear aligners start at around $3,000. Of course, that cost differs depending on the length of treatment and the severity of the alignment issues. 

How do clear aligners differ from braces? The biggest difference is cosmetic! They are almost invisible and feel more like a retainer as opposed to full on braces with bands and wires attached to your teeth. They do the same thing, but do it much more discreetly. Also, they don't require as much manual adjusting by the orthodontist so there is not as much of a maintenance time commitment (you get all the trays upfront and switch them out on your own). 

How long does the overall process take? It changes from person to person on a case by case basis. My personal treatment is minimal - my bottom teeth should take 9 weeks and my top teeth should take 17 weeks. That being said, I have friends who have had their aligners for over a year. The more you wear your trays, the faster they will work. And of course, if things don't go perfectly according to plan, the treatment could take longer or be extended.

How often do you change out your trays? Once a week! The trays put just enough pressure on your teeth to allow them to shift slowly. Each week, the new tray is slightly different and slightly closer to the perfect smile you are trying to attain. 

How much do you wear the trays? As much as possible! For best results, you should wear trays 24/7 except when eating or cleaning. That usually means around 20-22 hours a day. I can't stand the way my teeth/attachments feel without my trays in, so I don't have a problem with this....until I start getting snacky!

How often do you visit the orthodontist in person? Not often. An initial consultation appointment and scan, the "installation" appointment, and a few routine follow ups to make sure the aligners are working as planned. It is much less than with traditional braces! There is not much manual adjusting required because you change the trays out yourself every week. 

Does it hurt? If so, what do you do for the pain? I'm not going to say it's comfortable or pain free...but it is a lot easier to handle than I imagined! When I switch my trays out, my teeth just feel "tight" or like there is pressure on them for the first day or two (I take advil to lessen the dull pain). They only truly hurt when I take the trays out to eat (but again, that is only on the first couple days of a new tray). I try to eat "softer" foods and nothing I have to bite into on the days I switch trays. Once your teeth move into the alignment of the new tray, the pain mostly goes away. My biggest annoyance is that my tongue rubs on the trays and gets some sores + my inner-lip gets dry and sticks to the tray. 

What are the attachments on your teeth for? They help hold the trays in place + they act as little handles on certain teeth to help them move correctly. The amount of attachments and the placing of them is different for every person. The good thing is that they are tooth colored and not overly big so they aren't noticeable unless you get up close and personal or see them from a sideways angle. 

Can you eat or drink with clear aligners in? There is no eating with aligners in! According to Dr. Lewis, you can drink water with them in but nothing else. Some people have told me their doctors allow them to drink other beverages out of a straw if you rinse/swish with water after, but I would recommend asking your doctor's opinion before doing so. There are a few reasons you shouldn't drink anything other than water: 1) drinks can leave sugar in your trays that just sits there and can cause cavities 2) anything hot can warp the materials 3) colored things (beer, red wine, coffee, etc.) can stain the materials. If I ever take a sip of something other than water while wearing my trays, I make sure to swish with water immediately and clean my trays/teeth as soon as I can. 

This is by far the hardest part of treatment for me! I'm a serial snacker but since it hurts to take the trays in and out (plus you should clean your teeth before putting them back in) it has caused me to really slow down on my snacking and sweets game.... I only take the trays out if it is 100% worth it and I carry mini toothbrushes and floss/picks with me everywhere I go, just in case haha. I also struggle on weekends when I want to meet up for day drinks with friends on a patio / at the pool because I know I shouldn't take the trays out for hours at a time but I also know I shouldn't drink alcohol with them in... first world problems I guess. It is really a blessing in disguise because I'm not consuming as many extra calories on snacks, sugar and alcohol! 

Do you have to continue wearing the trays after treatment has ended? The way I understand it, once you are happy with your smile, you get "refinement trays" (no attachments) and then transition to only wearing them while you sleep. This keeps the teeth from shifting back out of place.

Oklahoma blogger @amandasok shares a before photo from her invisalign treatment


My experience with Lewis Orthodontics has been wonderful. First, I had my initial consultation with Dr. Lewis where they take x-rays, photos, and share the different options to choose from (traditional braces and different brands of clear aligners). At this appointment, they provide a rough estimate of the cost, timeline, etc. and map out a customized treatment plan. All of this is free! 

Next is the scan, which only takes ten minutes or so and basically scans your teeth and mouth (like a digital mold) to create the clear aligner trays and ensure they will fit perfectly. Technology is pretty cool....they stick a tool in your mouth and your teeth automatically show up on the screen! After the scan is complete, it is sent off to be made by whatever brand of clear aligners you choose. 

OKC blogger Amanda Martin gets her teeth scanned at the Lewis Orthodontics office in Edmond, Oklahoma

Once the trays are made, it is time to get them "installed" for lack of a better word. At this appointment, small, clear attachments are put on certain teeth to help hold the aligners in place and ensure those teeth move correctly. Then, you put your first tray in and go from there!! After eight weeks, there is a follow up appointment to make sure the treatment plan is progressing and teeth are moving correctly...any adjustments can be made at this time, if necessary. 

My entire clear aligner process has taken place during covid and the whole team has been very cautious and careful while still being informative, caring and understanding. I felt safe / in good hands the whole time! The Lewis Orthodontics office is colorful, happy and bright (perfect for nervous kiddos needing ortho treatment) and instantly puts me in a good mood. All of the staff members are kind, patient and do a phenomenal job of explaining options and treatments. I'm excited to see my results and I can't recommend Dr. Lewis and her team enough for anyone in the OKC metro area.

Amanda Martin of @amandasok lifestyle blog wears clear aligners from Lewis Orthodontics to straighten her teeth
Wearing my aligners - they aren't too noticeable until you get that sideways angle!

Ortho Smile clear aligners from Lewis Orthodontics in Edmond, Oklahoma

Have you had clear aligners or are they something you're interested in? Once my treatment is complete I will do a follow up blog post with before / after pictures and any tips I learned during the experience. For now, though, I linked some of the products below that have helped me adjust to wearing and caring for clear aligners. 

Thanks for reading! 

Amanda's OK

I am receiving my orthodontic treatment for free in exchange for sharing the process with you on my blog and social media pages. As always, all thoughts and opinions are my own.

Products I Have Used

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