I had them for a long time.. my top teeth were finished in 6 months but my lowers took about 1.5 years, then I had a refinement.
If you have to get attachments placed on your teeth, the first trays hurt like heck. Putting them in stung a bit, but taking them out the first time was absolute torture for me. I would try to eat before putting those first ones in, so that you can keep them in as long as possible before taking them off again. I felt like I was ripping my teeth off and that I was going to snap the tray. Literally in tears in the bathroom trying to get this death trap off! When I started a new tray, I would put them in before I went to bed but when I got a new set of trays, the dentist would usually pop them in immediately.
Always check what tray number you’re putting in. Once I went into the dentist’s office for a check in and get my new trays. The hygienist put my new trays in and they hurt a lot more than I expected (this was probably tray #16 or something so I was used to the pain from new trays by now). I mentioned it to the doc and he brushed it off because new trays are always uncomfortable. I ended up getting a huge headache in the next hour and when I took off my tray, I saw that she put in #23 instead.
Use the retainer case to store your trays. DO NOT WRAP IN NAPKINS!
In my experience, most people don’t notice the trays, but teeth-sensitive people who have had dental work will notice. I remember I saw a girl I had not seen in a long time and the first thing she asked was if I had braces. I will notice if other people are wearing Invisalign. It just has a particular look to it. It’s not a big deal and like I said earlier, it’s almost always people who have had dental work done too so they know what’s up.
Make sure you wear your retainers! And be clear about what your dental office is going to provide for you post-treatment. Ex, will they make you new trays if yours break (and they will eventually), will they make them in-house or get invisalign made retainers? My upper retainer snapped in half and I got an old school metal one to replace it, but my lowers are still okay. I paid for it out of pocket because my Invisalign dentist had already given me two retainers. Invisalign style retainers will wear out over time (the plastic softens and warps a little), so be aware you may have to do some upkeep. I would not sign up for the program to get new retainers every 6mos though, or whatever it is that Invisalign is offering.
If your trays get super funky, try dilute distilled white vinegar to clean them off. I had a terrible time getting the calculus build up off my trays and vinegar worked beautifully. Just dip/soak briefly, then gently brush. I prefer it to the denture tablets which will decontaminate but don’t necessarily clean off stuff.
I don’t regret getting Invisalign over traditional braces at all. And I would do it again if I had to. Good luck to you!