Many dental patients want to undergo orthodontic treatment, but the thought of wearing braces can be daunting, especially for adults. Fortunately, Invisalign® offers patients another way to straighten the teeth and improve the bite. During Invisalign® treatment, patients progress through a series of clear plastic aligner trays that encourage tooth and jaw movement without many of the downsides associated with braces.
While Invisalign® aligners don’t use metal brackets and wires, some Invisalign® patients may still experience soreness or tenderness. This is especially common at the beginning of Invisalign® treatment, and when it is time to progress to a new set of aligners.
Invisalign® provider Dr. Bruno Lemay is happy to offer tips to reduce Invisalign® discomfort so that our Palm Springs, CA patients can get through treatment as comfortably as possible.
Use Over-the-Counter Pain Medication
Most patients do not experience significant pain as they adjust to their Invisalign® aligners. If soreness, tenderness, or irritation are a problem, patients can use over-the-counter pain medication as directed to improve comfort.
Pain relievers that also reduce swelling can be especially helpful. In most cases, patients only need to use pain medication for the first days or two when switching aligner trays.
Try Cold Compresses
Cold compresses or ice packs are another great way to minimize discomfort as patients adjust to Invisalign® treatment. Cold compresses can be applied to the outside of the face, along the jawline.
For the best results, patients should apply cold compresses two to three times a day for about 10 minutes at a time. As with pain medication, cold compresses will likely only be needed for the first couple of days of Invisalign® treatment.
Avoid Crunchy Foods
One of the benefits of Invisalign® treatment is that there are no food restrictions, as there are with braces. However, any time that the teeth or gums are sore or inflamed, it is best to avoid hard, crunchy foods.
If soreness is a problem at the beginning of Invisalign® treatment or when a patient switches to a new set of aligner trays, it is a good idea to be gentle on the teeth, jaw, and gums for a few days. A good way to do this is by avoiding foods that are particularly hard, crunchy, or chewy.
Keep Aligners in Place
When Invisalign® aligners are causing irritation, it can be tempting to remove them. However, it is imperative that aligners stay in place at least 20 to 22 hours per day.
Aside from when a patient is eating or cleaning the teeth, the aligners should not be removed. Wearing the aligners as instructed will not only encourage the success of treatment, but it will also make the adjustment period shorter. With continual wear, any Invisalign® discomfort should be resolved within a couple of days.
Schedule an Appointment
If you want to straighten your teeth and improve your bite without traditional braces, you owe it to yourself to learn more about Invisalign® treatment.
To find out if you may be an ideal candidate for Invisalign®, schedule an appointment with Dr. Bruno Lemay at your earliest convenience by calling (760) 324-4450.