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What Are the Discomforts Associated with Invisalign?
Invisalign is rapidly becoming one of the most popularly requested orthodontic treatments since it offers a way to straighten teeth with minimal impacts upon a person’s daily life. Although traditional metal braces are still an option for treating an incorrect bite or closing gaps between your teeth, you may prefer the nearly invisible plastic aligner trays that you can even remove when you want to eat or drink. While there are definite benefits to using Invisalign in orthodontics, you may also be concerned about potential discomforts that are associated with the treatment. To help you make the best decision for your oral health and personal comfort, make sure you understand these common discomforts that are associated with using aligner trays for tooth straightening.
Mild Discomfort During Tray Transfers
Invisalign trays are removable, which means you can still eat your favorite foods and play sports. However, you may notice a mild sense of discomfort when you take the trays in and out of your mouth. Always follow the advice of your orthodontist regarding the proper way to remove the aligners, and the majority of any discomfort should ease up as your treatment progresses.
Pressure During Transitions
Most orthodontic treatment methods work by applying pressure to the teeth that stimulate movement into the desired positions. Naturally, you may notice this sense of pressure in your mouth, and it can cause some mild soreness at first. With traditional braces, you would normally notice this pressure during the first day or two after having them tightened. Clear trays work slightly differently so you will notice this pressure when you move to the next level of aligners.
Brief Difficulty With Speech
The Invisalign system is designed to fit over your teeth. While the trays are as thin as they can be, you may still notice some differences in the way you talk at first. This is because your tongue and lips will fit differently against your teeth. Usually, you will notice this more than other people might so do not let it interrupt you from your normal routine. Instead, you will find that talking as often as possible gives you the practice you need to overcome any minor speech difficulties that present in the first few weeks of treatment.
Your tongue is a sensitive organ that may sense that something is different in your mouth. While the aligner trays are smooth, you may notice minor irritation towards the front of your tongue. This should ease up within the first few weeks of wearing your trays, and wearing the aligners as recommended helps your tongue get used to the sensation of the appliance in your mouth.
Dryness of the Mouth and Teeth
The plastic aligners are custom designed to fit over your teeth. This prevents saliva from being able to wash through your mouth like normal. You may notice some slight dryness of your inner cheeks and gums, and your teeth may feel dry when you remove the aligners. To alleviate any dryness, simply rinse your mouth with water, and try to stay hydrated.
Soreness of Soft Tissues
Occasionally, new aligner trays may need to be adjusted. If this happens, you may notice some soreness or irritation along your gums or inside of the cheeks where the aligners touch. Never try to adjust the aligners yourself since they are made a specific way so that they move your teeth. Instead, talk to your orthodontist. They may be able to trim or smooth the appliance where they are causing irritation.
Occasional Eating Challenges
Unless you have a need to wear your aligners constantly, you should be able to remove them when you are ready to eat. However, you may still notice that your teeth are slightly sore as you chew. This is most common during aligner tray transitions when your teeth are responding the most to the pressure. During this time, try eating softer foods. You may also be able to use an over-the-counter pain reliever under the guidance of your orthodontist.
Minor Lifestyle Changes
Although most early discomforts with Invisalign are physical, you should also be aware that you will need to make some lifestyle changes during your orthodontic treatment. For instance, your aligner trays must be cleaned properly, and this adds another step to your normal oral hygiene routine. You may also find that you have to remember to move up to the next level of trays and to remove them before you eat. While this may seem like a challenge at first, you will quickly adjust to the new procedures involved with straightening your teeth. You can also use strategies such as setting alarms to remind you when it is time to change the trays.
How to Handle Your Discomfort
The majority of discomfort associated with Invisalign goes away within a short period of time. However, you should be concerned about any unusual pain that occurs once you are well into your treatment, and you may need to contact your orthodontist if soreness or pressure lasts more than a few days. Otherwise, sticking to the recommended home care strategies such as wearing the trays for most of the day and night should help your mouth get used to having the aligners on your teeth.
Papandreas Orthodontics offers both traditional braces and Invisalign as potential treatment options for straightening your teeth. Contact us today to find out which option works best for giving you the smile of your dreams.
Call Papandreas Orthodontics to Schedule Your First Orthodontic Appointment
Dr. Samuel Papandreas provides expert orthodontic care for adults, teenagers, and children at his facilities in:
• Brunswick, Ohio
• North Royalton, Ohio
His patients are fitted with customized orthodontic devices that include:
• Braces – color-matching ceramic or metal devices
• Retainers – worn at night when your braces are removed
• Invisalign aligners – clear plastic devices
• Palatal expanders – worn before your orthodontic treatment begins
You can schedule an appointment with Papandreas Orthodontics to learn about the best type of orthodontic treatment for you and your children to improve your smile correct your dental bite.
Dr. Papandreas is a native of Cleveland. Born in Lyndhurst, the middle of five children, his parents moved to Lakewood where he attended Lakewood High School. Dr. Papandreas continued his education at Loyola University School of Dentistry, known as a leader nationally in clinical dentistry. He ranked #1 academically in his dental class for four consecutive years. In addition to the honor of Summa Cum Laude, he was awarded the Frank M. Amaturo Award for Highest GPA – Omicron Kappa Upsilon Fraternity, the Department of Dental Materials Scholastic Award, the Chicago Auxiliary Dental Society Scholarship Award for Highest Academic Achievement, and the Alpha Sigma Nu National Jesuit Honor Society Award for Academic Excellence.