Orthodontic issues can compromise the health, function, and beauty of the smile. Despite the potential risks of malocclusion problems, many patients do not undergo orthodontic care. Many of the patients who fail to treat orthodontic problems do so because they want to avoid bulky, metal braces.
Braces have a reputation of being uncomfortable and noticeable. Fortunately, traditional metal braces are no longer the only option for patients who want to straighten their teeth. Invisalign® invisible aligners shift the teeth and correct the bite without using any metal brackets or wires. Instead, throughout Invisalign® treatment, patients progress through a series of clear plastic aligners.
Although Invisalign® aligners are known to be much more comfortable than traditional braces, many still wonder how long it takes to adjust to Invisalign® aligners. The Long Island, NY dentists at Greater Long Island Dental are happy to prepare patients for what to expect when they get their first set of aligners.
Adjusting to Invisalign® Aligners
Every Invisalign® aligner is customized to meet the unique needs of each patient. This customization ensures that the Invisalign® aligners fit properly in the patient’s mouth.
Despite this customized fit, Invisalign® aligners may still feel slightly unnatural or uncomfortable at first. The aligners are meant to apply pressure to the teeth, so they will provide a tight fit. Although Invisalign® aligners should not cause any pain, it can take several days for patients to get used to how the aligners feel, and they may experience some minor discomfort in the process.
Another common issue at the beginning of Invisalign® treatment is gum irritation. Invisalign® does not contain any metal, so the patient should not develop any cuts or severe scratches. However, the plastic aligners will still rub against the soft tissues when the patient bites, chews, or speaks. This can cause minor discomfort until the gums toughen up, which should also only take a few days or so.
There really is no way to avoid the adjustment period that a patient will go through at the beginning of Invisalign® treatment. However, there are tips a patient can follow to minimize discomfort until they grow accustomed to their aligners, including:
- Use over-the-counter pain medication as needed to manage discomfort.
- If necessary, purchase orthodontic wax to protect the soft tissues of the mouth.
- Even if the aligners feel uncomfortable, make sure not to remove them. The Invisalign® aligners need to be worn a minimum of 20 to 22 hours a day to be effective, and the more the aligners are worn, the faster the patient will adjust.
- Distractions such as books, movies, and music can helpful during the initial adjustment period of Invisalign® treatment.
If you need orthodontic treatment and would like to learn more about the benefits of Invisalign®, contact us at your earliest convenience. Call (516) 468-7103 to schedule a personal consultation with one of the experienced dentists at Greater Long Island Dental.