Invisalign has revolutionized the way teens and adults straighten their teeth. With its smooth clear thermoplastic design, the aligners offer remarkable advantages over traditional braces in terms of aesthetics as well as comfort. However, nearly every oral appliance takes some getting used to. In doing so, the tender tissues of your mouth can become sore and irritated. With Invisalign, this is minimal and very temporary. Patients typically experience discomfort only when they are changing out their aligners for a new set, or every couple of weeks. While it is important to wear your new aligners as much as possible during those first 48 hours, it can be hard to push through that initial discomfort.
Here’s some tips on how to make it easier and more comfortable on your mouth as you transition to a new Invisalign aligner set:
- Timing is Important
- Since the first 12 hours may be the worst in terms of soreness and irritation, it is recommended that patients start their new set of aligners just before bedtime. This provides a good 8 hours of adjustment time while you sleep, helping you wake up to a more comfortable mouth.
- Tools to Reduce Sharp Edges and Gum Irritations
- Each set of aligners fit a little different. This is important and necessary in order to encourage your teeth to continue to move in correct alignment. Unfortunately, the new aligners may sit differently on your gums. The edges of the aligners may feel sharp to your gums.
- If your dentist allows, you can simply use an emery board (or nail file) to smooth down the edges and gain a more comfortable fit. Orthodontic wax is another option to provide a barrier between your aligners and your sensitive gums. Use a small strip of wax and push it flat against the gums to prevent rubbing and irritation. Still, a third solution may be a canker sore ointment to act as a topical anesthetic and numb the area of discomfort. Keep in mind, these irritations are usually temporary and your gums will adjust to the new aligners rather quickly. Some patients find that taking an over-the-counter pain reliever during the first 1-2 days of wearing a new Invisalign set is all that is needed.
- Dry Mouth Relief
- While Invisalign is the most conducive orthodontic treatment to your lifestyle, it can still cause some unexpected oral symptoms. You may find that you suffer from a dry mouth, especially if you have a job in which you speak a lot throughout the day. Always discuss dry mouth (xerostomia) with your dentist. There are dry mouth treatments such as Biotene and other rinses that can increase saliva production and protect your teeth, as your mouth needs saliva to rinse away the bacteria that causes decay and bad breath.
Invisalign Still Trumps in Comfort and Convenience
When it comes to Invisalign, the drawbacks are drastically lessened compared to metal braces. However, we want to maximize your treatment and comfort in every way possible. For more questions or concerns about Invisalign, please call Park South Dentistry today!