Long Beach, CA – If you are an orthodontic patient who opted for Invisalign treatment, chances are good you chose it for the minimal impact you felt it would have on your daily life. The aligners are clear, rendering them practically invisible, and they are also removable so you don’t need to alter your diet or oral care routine. But, there are some tips and tricks every Invisalign patient should know.
Invisalign isn’t completely discomfort free. It would be wonderful if there were a way to straighten teeth that was completely without any discomfort, but because of the nature of what is involved in moving teeth, that just isn’t possible. Invisalign does utilize a series of clear aligners that are made of a smooth plastic. This has eliminated the discomfort that can come from brackets and wires rubbing on the inside of the mouth.
Unfortunately, guiding teeth to their new locations will involve a bit of discomfort. Most Invisalign patients state that the discomfort occurs at the beginning of treatment, and then again in the day or two after a new aligner set is started. For most, it may feel like pressure or tenderness in the mouth, and its intensity will vary from patient to patient.
There are some things you can do to mitigate the discomfort you may feel, however.
- Try to switch out aligner sets at bedtime. This way, you are sleeping while your mouth is adjusting, and hopefully you can sleep away any discomfort that may be associated.
- If your teeth feel sore, stick to soft foods that don’t require a lot of chewing.
- Use an over-the-counter pain reliever like Advil or Tylenol to help with any mild pain you may feel.
The aligners are made of a smooth plastic, but sometimes a set of aligners may have an edge that feels rough in the mouth. If this happens, let your orthodontist know so it can be smoothed out right away. You can use a bit of orthodontic wax over the rough area until you can get to your orthodontist’s office to have it corrected.
Practice makes perfect. You may notice that at first, you feel a bit of discomfort and even have some difficulty when putting the aligners in and removing them. They are made to fit snugly over your teeth, so you may need practice to gracefully be able to remove them when you are around other people. Since they need to be removed when eating or drinking anything other than water, you’ll be taking them out a few times each day. Practice will make you more comfortable in doing this around others.
You’ll produce more saliva. The aligners will naturally cause an overproduction of saliva, because there is something foreign in the mouth. This can be a bit annoying at first until you get used to it. The extra saliva, along with the placement of the aligners, can also make speech more difficult at first. It can help to practice speaking in front of a mirror when you first put your aligners in. Not only will it help you get used to speaking with the excess saliva, it will allow your tongue the chance to figure out how to properly make sounds that may be affected by the aligner placement. You may notice a slight lisp at first, but the more you practice speaking, the quicker you will adjust.
You’ll be aware the aligners are there, but others won’t necessarily. Many Invisalign patients report being very aware of the aligners in their mouths at first, and they worry everyone else is staring at them. But the clear aligners will hardly be visible to anyone else, unless you make them apparent. You’ll be able to feel them in your mouth, and may even feel them pushing up against your teeth. This can make you a bit self-conscious that maybe they are sticking out to everyone else. But don’t worry, no one else will be as aware of them as you are.
Invisalign is a great option for patients who want to discreetly straighten their smiles. Before choosing Invisalign or any other orthodontic treatment option, it is important to know exactly what to expect. To learn more about Invisalign, call HD Orthodontics at 562-283-6590.