Dealing with Invisalign Discomfort
Invisalign® is a unique teeth straightening treatment that can correct bite and tooth misalignment without the use of traditional braces. Invisalign uses clear plastic aligners to apply the pressure that is needed to address common malocclusion problems. This metal-free system, offered by Dr. Carmen Every-Degel, is much more discreet and convenient than metal braces.
Invisalign is generally considered more comfortable than braces, but our patients from Queens, NY, Long Island, NY, and NYC can anticipate some discomfort, especially toward the beginning of treatment. By following some easy tips, individuals can ease Invisalign discomfort and promote the success of treatment.
What Causes Invisalign Discomfort?
Invisalign is free of the metal brackets and wires that typically cause pain for braces patients. Still, our patients will likely experience some discomfort as they get used to wearing their Invisalign aligners. The most common causes of Invisalign discomfort are pressure and soft tissue irritation.
Like braces, Invisalign applies pressure to the teeth and jaw. This pressure encourages them to move to their intended position. Although the pressure is subtle, it can cause the teeth and jaw to feel tight and uncomfortable. Pressure will be most noticeable during the first several days of treatment and any time a patient switches to a new set of aligner trays, which happens about every two weeks.
Soft tissue irritation should not be as severe for Invisalign patients as it is for patients with braces since there are no harsh metals to scratch or cut the gums or tongue. However, when aligners are worn, the edges may push or rub against the gum line. It can take several days for the gum tissues to toughen up so that this contact is no longer bothersome.
Tips for Easing Discomfort
Invisalign discomfort should be minimal, but there are steps our patients can take to ease pain or irritation even further. These practices can promote patient comfort during Invisalign treatment without compromising teeth straightening results.
Wear Aligners as Directed
It can be tempting to remove aligners when irritation occurs, but wearing aligners for a minimum of 20 to 22 hours a day is necessary for treatment, and will help patients adjust to their aligners in a timely manner.
Switch to New Aligners at Night
Once the initial Invisalign irritation diminishes, patients should be comfortable until it is time to switch to a new set of aligners. If patients switch to new aligners at night, they should be able to sleep through most of the adjustment period.
Consider the Use of Pain Medication
Over-the-counter pain medication can be taken as needed to ease discomfort and minimize any inflammation that may occur.
Apply Ice Packs
Ice packs are another way to ease discomfort and inflammation. Ice packs wrapped in light fabric should be applied to the outer cheeks for approximately 15 to 20 minutes at a time, several times a day.
Don’t Avoid Chewing
Many people avoid chewing on food when adjusting to Invisalign aligners. However, a small amount of pressure can actually ease pain. The only foods that should be avoided are those that are particularly hard or crunchy.
Invisalign offers many benefits over traditional braces. If you would like to learn more about this teeth straightening method, send us a message at your earliest convenience, or call (718) 831-6975 to schedule an appointment with Dr. Carmen Every-Degel. We serve patients from Queens, Long Island, and NYC.