What Are the Discomforts Associated with Invisalign?


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Invisalign is one of many orthodontic procedures available to straighten teeth. The idea that started Invisalign blossomed when it was discovered that a computer software can be used to design incremental retainers that would straighten the teeth. Before you can understand the discomforts, you first must understand the treatment process.

5 Steps of Treatment

  1. Consult an orthodontist that offers Invisalign in Southington (like Team Demas).
  2. Have x-rays, photographs, a bite registration, and polyvinyl siloxane impressions taken to assure that the product will work and will fit.
  3. Align Technology has technicians that will create a 3D simulation showing how they can move the teeth into their desired locations.
  4. Molds for the aligners are made. They may be anywhere from 6 to 48 aligners, depending on the teeth.
  5. Each aligner is worn 20 hours per day for two weeks, and the teeth will be moved 0.25 to 0.33 millimeters per each aligner.

As you can see, the process is quite simple for teens and adults wanting to straighten their teeth without the inconvenience of visible wires on your teeth. After the teeth are straightened, it is recommended that the patient continues to wear a retainer at night because teeth are constantly moving. There are few discomforts associated with Invisalign as well.

Pain When Eating

Unlike braces, you are allowed to take Invisalign out when you eat. However, after every meal, you have to brush your teeth and clean the aligners to make sure that no residue is left in the aligner. Residue left in the aligner can cause problems with your teeth, as well as, problems with your breath. Because of this, some people eat less frequently. But not only do they eat less frequently, people going through Invisalign treatment tend to eat foods that are softer too. Teeth movement can make the mouth tender, some mouths are more susceptible to this pain than others. By eating softer foods (like when you get your wisdom tooth taken out), there is less pressure when you begin to chew because softer foods put up less resistance. In order to eat what you want while avoiding the mouth tenderness, consider starting your new set of aligners before bedtime. If you start the next new one during bedtime, your teeth will have hours to settle into the new fit and by time you eat, the discomfort will be lessened. However, if the process of chewing is too much or you are having a particularly painful day, it is okay to take an anti-inflammatory aid, like Ibuprofen or Advil, an hour before you eat to ease the pain.

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Pain from the Movement

You may not only experience the pain when you eat. Some teeth may be located next to more sensitive nerves, so those problematic tooth may cause more pain if they are targeted to move a lot. Realigning teeth to be in the smile that you desire involves a great deal of pressure from several different angles. Again, no mouth is the same, so some will feel a stronger sense of tenderness while others may not feel any at all. It does, however, mean that your teeth are definitely moving and the process is working, so keep that as your motivation to continue going through the treatment. Users of Invisalign have noted that the pain is more noticeable when you first begin treatment. You may become better adjusted to the discomfort for your next set of aligners. As previously mentioned, switch to your new set before bedtime. This way your teeth can get a little bit more comfortable while you sleep. Over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medicines can ease the pain on those especially sensitive occasions. If you know that you will be going in for an appointment, it is also a good idea to take the medicine before because the orthodontist may be feeling around those fragile points of your mouth. However, for certain appointments, your orthodontist may not want you to take any pain-relievers because he or she may prescribe you another medicine, or they may want you to be able to identify particular unnatural discomforts. Make sure that you ask for their advice.

Image courtesy of marin at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of marin at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Pain in the Gums or Tongue

Discomfort in the gums region or tongue region, including the cheeks and the floor/roof of your mouth, is also common because the edges of the aligner are in contact with all of this softer tissue. While Invisalign is unlikely to produce any severe pain, like braces might, the constant rubbing may be uncomfortable. This is why consulting your orthodontist and being able to identify the pain is important. You should not adjust your aligner yourself, but a professional may be able to smooth or trim the offending edges. He or she may even be able to show you how to adjust your aligners the correct way for future reference. The treatment is expensive, so you do not want to ruin an aligner or ruin the opportunity to have the straightest teeth possible. Ruining an aligner can cause more pain down the road. If the soreness is too much to handle and you cannot get into the orthodontist’s office soon enough, use cold compresses. Use the cold compress on the outside of your mouth against the cheeks or lips and it will really make a difference. For soreness that cannot be reached with the cold compress, suck on an ice cube. It is not recommended that you do this a lot because you may need to take your aligners out to really ease the discomfort, but sucking on an ice cube is easy and inexpensive.

A certain amount of discomfort is expected during an orthodontic treatment because your teeth are being forced to shift their position. If there is too much pain or too many problems, consult your orthodontist because you may be having more serious Invisalign problems than the typical discomfort.

While reading this article, thoughts like “Is there an orthodontist near me?” are probably running in your mind by now. Luckily, if you reside in Connecticut, you may as well contact Team Demas for Orthodontic treatment in Southington  for a complimentary consultation.

Team Demas Orthodontics

27 Meriden Ave #2a, Southington, CT 06489, USA

Phone: 860-276-0333

What Are the Discomforts Associated with Invisalign?

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Don Demas


Dr Don Demas - Team Demas Orthodontics - Specialist in Orthodontics for kids, teens and adults in Watertown & Woodbury CT.

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