If you’re thinking, “What’s so difficult about wearing Invisalign aligners,” you’ll be happy to know that your life won’t be altered much at all with this uniquely flexible method of treatment. However, these small, plastic trays are still foreign to your cheeks, lips, tongue, and teeth, so it’s important that you understand there will be a short adjustment period with your customized aligners. As you prepare to start treatment, take a look at these 5 Invisalign tips to surviving your first week.
Take Care of Your Tongue
In general, Invisalign aligners will not irritate your soft oral tissues; however, in the beginning, you might experience some irritation to your tongue. The reason is that the plastic edges of your trays are rub if you’re not careful. One way to combat this issue when you begin wearing Invisalign, or when you switch out your trays, is to use dental wax. Using a small amount, you can cover areas that are bothersome. It will also be beneficial to rinse with a peroxide-based mouthwash to heal any areas that are affected by the jagged edges of your trays.
Monitor How Long You Wear Your Trays
It’s imperative that you wear your trays at least 22 hours a day if you want to prevent a delay in treatment. To help you keep track of how much you’re wearing them each day, you can download the app, TrayMinder, which helps you track how long you’ve worn your aligners and works to remind you when you need to swap out your current set for the next ones in the series.
Protect Your Aligners (And Your Teeth)
In the beginning, you will be able to easily remove your trays each time you need to take them out; however, as time progresses, you’ll discover that your trays become tighter, making it more difficult (and dangerous) for you to use your nails to remove them. A simple slip could cause you to scratch your gums, leaving you cringing in pain.
As your orthodontist about different tools that are available to help you safely and effectively remove your aligners.
Clean Your Trays Regularly
One of the biggest components of wearing Invisalign aligners is to keep your trays clean. This is easy to do, but you need to be careful about how you do it. All it takes is a toothbrush, clear soap, and lukewarm water to brush away dried saliva and bacteria, but should you accidentally use hot water, it can warp the plastic.
Also, remember not to drink anything other than water while wearing your aligners. Although a small glass of wine won’t hurt, it’s important not to make it a habit.
Practice Chewing Exercises
No matter if your braces are clear aligners like Invisalign or traditional metal that are affixed to your teeth, the moment they begin to shift your pearly whites, it’s like you’re going to feel some level of discomfort. When this happens, an over-the-counter pain reliever can help but so can chewing exercises. Even with nothing in your mouth, you can spend a few minutes moving your jaw and acting as if you are chewing. This will “massage” your gums and keep nutrient-rich blood flowing to your mouth, allowing the pain to dissipate.
One of the great aspects of Invisalign is its ability to produce faster results. When you begin treatment, you can feel good knowing that you’ll achieve a healthier, more beautiful smile in less time than with traditional braces. So, when frustration or even discomfort rears its head while wearing Invisalign, know that it’s only temporary and will pass soon enough.
About the Author
Dr. Allie DeGeorge attended The University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia and earned her undergraduate degree, dental degree, and certificate of orthodontics. While in school, she received training in Invisalign, 3D imaging, TMD, and temporary anchorage devices. Experienced in all phases of orthodontics, Dr. DeGeorge works closely with children, teens, and adults. As a member of Rauchberg Dental Group, she is proud to provide high-quality dental care to patients who desire a healthier, more beautiful smile. To learn more about us, visit our website or call (973) 334-3777.