Clear aligners like Invisalign use virtually invisible aligner trays that you wear over your teeth to gradually and gently shift your teeth into place. Since you’ll be wearing these trays around the clock (we recommend 22 hours/day), it can be uncomfortable and some people experience pain. Here is a list of five tips to help you become accustomed to your aligners and create good habits through your teeth alignment journey.
- Protect your mouth. Be aware that at the beginning of new tray cycles you may experience irritation and sores due to the plastic edges of the aligners. Eventually, your mouth will adjust and toughen. In the meantime, you can use dental wax to cover sharp edges and rough spots. You can also ask the your dentist to file them down for you. In addition, peroxide-based mouthwash can help heal minor irritations and provide pain relief.
- Chewing exercises. Most dentists recommend chewing exercises several times per day and each time you re-insert your trays. The act of chewing can help with pain relief. It induces a massaging effect for your gums and stimulates blood floww to your mouth, acting as a natural pain reliever. Styrofoam chewies can aid in chewing exercises.
- Track your wear time. Until you get used to wearing the trays, you’ll be tempted to take them out often, which is one of the benefits of Invisalign — you have the flexibility to remove them when necessary. However, not wearing them the recommended 22 hours per day can lengthen your treatment. So, track your wear time so you know exactly how long you’re wearing the trays each day. There are numerous mobile apps that help with this.
- Use tools if necessary to remove your trays. Many people have no problem removing the trays with their fingers, but as trays tighten as your treatment progresses, you may require “tools” like the “Outie” or the “PULTOOL” to help you get them out. These tools also promote a safer and more sanitary method of removing your invisible braces.
- Clean your trays regularly. The beauty of Invisalign clear aligners is that they’re clear and nearly invisible. But when consume coffee, tea, wine, and certain foods, stains can set in on the trays. It is important from an aesthetics standpoint and a sanitary standpoint that you keep your aligners clean. We recommend using a toothbrush to gently scrub them, soak them, and repeat each day.
In general, simply create a routine and stay with it. If you establish a consistent routine, you’ll be able to maintain those habits through the entire treatment. Your treatment period will be over before you know it, and you’ll have a perfect smile as a result!