How to Adjust to Invisalign®

Invisalign® clear teeth aligners have introduced a brand new way to straighten teeth. They solve two of the main complaints about traditional braces, which are notorious for being too restrictive and too noticeable. Invisalign is a game-changer in that you can remove them when you eat, which allows you to eat anything you want. They’re also clear, so they don’t call attention to themselves.

Invisalign is the most comfortable option in teeth straightening by far, but it’s still an orthodontic appliance that will feel a bit foreign in your mouth at first. 

Don’t worry, the transition period usually only lasts about a week, and you’ll adjust quickly if you follow these tips from our team at LM Orthodontics.

1. Get comfortable

Invisalign clear aligners are extremely effective because they’re designed to shift your teeth, and that can be uncomfortable, especially during the first few days and weeks. And you need to keep them in for at least 20-22 hours a day to get the job done. 

To ease into your new Invisalign aligners, practice chewing. The act of chomping down boosts circulation, and the increased blood flow is a natural pain reliever. Of course, you can’t eat with your aligners in your mouth, so instead of food, you can use anything that’s soft and sanitary. A baby’s teething ring would work well, as long as you chew gently. 

There are also some foam and gummy products designed for use with clear aligners. Gently massaging your gums also helps, as does an OTC pain reliever.

2. Protect your tongue

Anyone who wears metal braces keeps a good supply of dental wax on hand to cover poking brackets and wires. Invisalign solves the problem of sharp metal in your mouth, but you may still contend with some rough edges that irritate your tongue.

The same dental wax used for braces comes in handy here as well. Place a small piece wherever your tongue rubs to soften the transition. Soon, your tongue will become accustomed to the new appliance and toughen up enough so you won’t need to worry about wax.

3. Practice talking

Your new aligners are almost invisible, but they do add some girth to your teeth. Until you get used to the feeling, you may find that words you’ve been saying your whole life sound a little different. 

We recommend practicing your enunciation of certain sounds by reading out loud or talking or singing while you’re alone, so that you’re ready to speak clearly in public.

4. Use your case

Made from patented SmartTrack® material, Invisalign aligners are powerful — but they’re still plastic. They can break if you drop them or crush them in your backpack or purse. They come with a hard case, and we recommend keeping a few cases around so you never have to leave them unprotected.

Plus, having multiple cases — like one in your car, one at home, and one in your bag — means you’ll always have one handy if you get a sudden urge to snack.

Another reason to keep your aligners in their case is to prevent loss. We’ve heard all the stories, like when someone leaves theirs on a napkin in a restaurant and it immediately gets thrown in the trash.

5. Check the temperature

Like any plastic item, your Invisalign aligners can’t withstand extreme temperatures. That means you can’t toss them on your dash in the summer where they may warp, or in the winter, when they may become brittle. Your mouth is the best place for your aligners, and when you take them out, remember they like a nice moderate temp.

6. Keep them clean

Keeping your teeth clean during your Invisalign treatment is easy, since you can simply pop them out to brush and floss, but don’t forget to clean your aligners while you’re at it. 

Use a soft-bristled brush and a mild antibacterial soap. And make sure to rinse your aligners every time you remove them from your mouth.

7. Time yourself

Sometimes it’s hard to remember if you’ve worn your aligners for a full 20-22 hours, especially if you tend to eat multiple times throughout the day. Fortunately, there are several apps available for your smartphone that help you track the amount of time your Invisalign aligners are actually in your mouth.

To find out more about Invisalign clear aligners, we’re here in McLean, Virginia, to answer all your questions and to start your teeth straightening treatment. Call us at 703-498-2047 or request an in-person consultation using our online tool today. 

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