Helpful Tips to Reduce Invisalign Discomfort
Invisalign® is an orthodontic treatment that uses clear, plastic trays to gradually straighten the teeth instead of the metal brackets and wires used in traditional braces.
While most patients find Invisalign to be a more comfortable form of orthodontic treatment, there are periods of time in which treatment may be uncomfortable. Dr. Byron J. Nordhus provides patients with personalized tips to reduce Invisalign discomfort during consultations at our Wichita, KS practice. To learn more about ways to reduce discomfort, we welcome you to schedule a consultation.
Relieving Discomfort During Invisalign Treatment
Many Wichita patients find Invisalign treatment far more comfortable than traditional braces, but may experience some discomfort from time to time.
Some of the most common times patients feel discomfort during Invisalign treatment is when treatment begins and the first set of aligners are place. Additional discomfort may occur each time the aligners are changed, which happens every two weeks.
These tips can help relieve discomfort during aligner changes and any time the mouth may feel sore during treatment.
Take Pain Medication before Changing Aligners
For many, over-the-counter pain medications are often sufficient at reducing pain and discomfort during Invisalign treatment. Anti-inflammatory medications, such as aspirin and ibuprofen, can be particularly helpful if the gums or tissues surrounding the teeth feel swollen.
For those who experience discomfort when changing to a new set of aligners, taking pain medication before changing aligners can help prevent or reduce pain before it starts.
Change Aligners before Bed
Each new set of aligners is designed to gradually shift the teeth. This places pressure on the teeth, which can cause discomfort until the teeth and mouth adjust to the new aligners.
In addition to taking over-the-counter pain medication before changing aligners, it can be helpful to change to new aligners before bed. Changing aligners before bed allows the teeth and mouth to adjust while the patient sleeps, often leading to reduced discomfort the following day.
Avoid Hard Foods but Don't Avoid Chewing
Eating hard, crunchy foods when feeling discomfort from Invisalign treatment can irritate the mouth more. It's best to avoid eating hard foods when treatment is uncomfortable to allow the tissues and ligaments supporting the teeth time to recover.
While it's best to avoid hard, crunchy foods when treatment is uncomfortable, chewing food on sore teeth is beneficial for some people. For some, the pressure from chewing soft foods can help reduce pain and provide some relief from discomfort.
Apply Cold Compresses or Drink Cold Water
Cold compresses and drinking cold water can help relieve discomfort and reduce inflammation during Invisalign treatment.
Cold compresses or ice packs should be wrapped in a towel or cloth before placing against the skin and should only be used for short periods of time, less than 20 minutes, to prevent injury to the skin.
When drinking cold water to help relieve discomfort, it's often beneficial to swish the water around the teeth and gums. For extra relief, try drinking and swishing with ice water.
Have Aligner Edges Smoothed
Some patients may experience soft tissue discomfort from the edges of Invisalign aligners. Most who experience this often find discomfort is only present at the beginning of treatment and goes away once the gums and tissues adjust to the aligners.
For those who find the edges of their aligners are too rough and discomfort persists, the aligner edges may be smoothed if brought back to the dentist.
Schedule a Consultation
If you would like to learn more about Invisalign treatment, or to find out if Invisalign is right for you, please call our Wichita office at (316) 721-6730 to schedule a consultation.