As you guys may know, when I’m not trying to complete my journey to every country in the world, I’m based in Bangkok, Thailand where I bought a place to keep all my stuff and make me feel less like that vagabond that I so clearly am.
Since my journey has almost come to an end (yay!), and my travels don’t involve full 10 months overseas each year, I’ve been able to take care of something I’ve wanted to do for a long time – fix my teeth. Thailand is cheap for dentistry tourism, yet every bit as professional as in your home country (probably far more). So I scoured the country for the best dentist and finally found my place – Thantakit International Dental Centre. I blogged about it last month when I finally chose Invisalign ahead of the train tracks, you can read all about it here.
So here I find myself in my 7th week of my 65 weeks or so of treatment, so I’m 10% through my treatment here in Bangkok and wanted to give you guys an update about how I feel about it all!
It’s just over a month of wearing the Invisalign and already I see a huge improvement, in both my actual teeth and smile but always with my confidence, my propensity to smile, cheesy grins in photos, opening my mouth properly when conversing.
Anyone who is or has been worried about their teeth will know the struggle about trying to hide them in plain site, it’s horrible. Closed mouth photo smiles, covering your mouth when you crack up laughing. It’s really uncomfortable, and already I’m doing it so much less. It’s been a great first 10% and I can’t believe how quickly the teeth seem to be shifting, each time I’m due for a new tray (every 2 weeks), it’s exciting because you know it’s another step to FINALLY having straight teeth. Bring it on!
TRAVELING WITH INVISALIGN
Travel is obviously a huge part of my life, and this is part of reason what the guys at Thantakit recommended Invisalign ahead of the train tracks. Train tracks would have meant I had to be back every month or so in Bangkok, ideally even more often, so although Bangkok is my base, I often travel for longer periods of time. This time, my superstar dentist Ken gave me 4 sets of ‘trays’ (the retainer things), each tray is 14 days or so, which meant I didn’t have to have a dentist check-up for 8 weeks. More importantly, it meant I could hit the road!
So that’s what I did, I spent the next 6 weeks or so visiting Oman, Somalia, France, UK and Ireland, all the while cleaning and replacing my Invisalign every 2 weeks as instructed, and there were no problems at all traveling with them – amazing!
LIVING WITH INVISALIGN
The video explains more but basically a daily routine with invisalign is this:
- Wake up, take out invisalign, wash invisalign, floss teeth, brush teeth, replace invisalign, add new elastic band
- Take out invislign, have breakfast, wash invisalign, floss teeth, brush teeth, replace invisalign, add new elastic band
- Take out invisalign, have lunch, wash invisalign, floss, brush teeth, replace invisalign, add new elastic band
- Take out invisalign, have dinner, wash invisalign, floss, brush teeth, replace invisalign, add new elastic band
- Get ready for bed, take out invisalign, wash invisalign, floss, brush teeth, replace invisalign, add new elastic band
Basically, it’s pretty annoying but you get used to it. Your teeth, and mouth, end up in ridiculously good health because you take such good care of everything. Your breath is always minty, your teeth get whiter and whiter due to all the brushing but it does p*ss you off. And one massive downside? Snacking! You end up never snacking because the prospect of having to go through the routine just for a piece of chocolate or a banana means it’s just not worth it! Good for the waistline I guess, though.
With train tracks you can snack anytime as your braces are permanently there so that’s a bit of a plus, but then again you’re restricted as to what you can eat in case you stain/damage the braces. With my Invisalign, I can eat whatever I want because the Invisalign aren’t actually in my mouth as I eat, but then, of course you have to go through all the rigmarole of washing, flossing etc every time you eat.
DOES INVISALIGN HURT?
Hurt? No, pretty much not at all. Each time you change the tray, for the next 36 hours or so, you feel a tight, dull pressure across your teeth but it doesn’t hurt. Actually, I quite like the feeling because it feels like your teeth are straightening right there and then, kinda like in the gym when your muscles hurt but you like it because you know you’re bettering yourself!
After those 36 hours though, you barely feel anything to be honest, literally no pain whatsoever.
MY DENTISTS IN BANGKOK
It’s a massive decision and a massive commitment to get either braces or Invisalign, I thought that before I got them, and I definitely think it now too. I had 2 or 3 consultations with the guys at Thantakit in Bangkok before I took the plunge. It takes time, effort and of course a chunk of money.
In the end Invisalign have been a brilliant choice for me, and a lot of that is due to my dentists. For a start they told me about how much better Invisalign are for anyone who travels a lot (less dentist appointments, manage replacing the trays every 2 weeks yourself), also if you don’t want people to ‘see’ your braces, Invisalign are a great option (for me that helps for media stuff, but job interviews, tinder dates – none of these are great with braces!).
HOW MUCH DOES THE TREATMENT COST IN BANGKOK
Normally I’m super careful with my money (travel aside!), but this is my teeth so I was only willing to go to the best provider in the city. After all my research I choose Thatakit on Petchaburi Road – and with these guys the prices for Invisalign range between 90, 000THB ($2500) TO 200, 000 ($5500), which is just more than half of what I’d pay in the UK/Ireland, but you don’t pay in one go. Step by step, so it’s pretty affordable for something so important. To be honest, and I didn’t tell me dentist this when i started, I would have been happy to pay a lot more to finally have straight teeth!
Emailing my dentist, working out the best practices, making sure I’m doing everything correctly has been cool too, and the team at Thantakit have been amazing with their communication. My next appointment (and my first appointment since starting my treatment) is on Saturday so let’s hope everything goes smoothly.