Invisalign treatment requires you to change your aligners every two weeks or so. When you first put in a set of aligners, you might experience some hardness or discomfort. The good news is the discomfort should be minor and fade away within a few days once your mouth gets used to the aligners.
It is possible, however, for you to face discomfort throughout your entire treatment. Regardless of how long your discomfort lasts, there are a variety of safe ways you can alleviate it. Here’s what we recommend.
Over-the-counter pain medications like Tylenol, aspirin, and Ibuprofen are usually very effective at minimizing pain and discomfort for Invisalign. Just make sure you follow the directions on the box. Our Raleigh Family Dentist friends at Wells Family Dental Group always tell patients to follow instructions on all OTC pain medications.
If you notice most of your pain occurs when you change aligners, ibuprofen or aspirin makes the most sense as these are anti-inflammatory medications. They can rescue any swelling or inflammation you may be facing. You can also be proactive and take over-the-counter pain medication before you change aligners. This might prevent pain in the first place.
If you don’t have a cold compress on hand, don’t worry. You can wrap an ice pack or bag of frozen veggies in a blanket or towel and get the same results. Take the cold compress or ice pack or frozen veggies and place it on your cheeks. By doing so, you can soothe your teeth, jaw, and gums while reducing inflammation. Do this for no more than 20 minutes at a time to prevent injuries to the skin.
Drink Cold Water or Suck on Ice Cubes
Drinking cold water offers a similar effect to cold compresses. If you swish ice water can help with inflammation and relieve some of the discomfort you feel on the inside of your mouth. While it may be tempting to choose soda, tea, or juice instead of water, it’s best to avoid these beverages as they can make you more susceptible to cavities. Another option is to remove your aligners and suck on ice cubes for a short period of time. Our great friend and peer, Dr. Adam Moore, Garner, NC dentist, encourages patients to drink cold water to reduce inflammation.
Stay Away From Certain Foods
Crunchy or hard foods are not a good option when you’re facing soreness or discomfort. Instead of foods like chips or raw veggies, opt for applesauce, mashed potatoes, yogurt, and other soft alternatives.
Pay Attention to the Edges
If you believe the edges of your aligners are sharp or rough, let your orthodontist know as they can easily irritate your gums and inner cheeks. Your orthodontist may be able to smooth the edges so you feel more comfortable.
Start New Aligners Before Bed
The best time to start wearing new aligners is before bed. This way your teeth can get used to them while you sleep. If you start in the morning, you’re more likely to experience more discomfort throughout the day, especially when you take your aligners in and out to eat.
Contact Gladwell Orthodontics Today
If you’re interested in learning more about Invisalign treatment and how it can improve your smile and confidence, don’t hesitate to contact our Raleigh, Wake Forest or Durham orthodontic office today! We can be reached at 919-453-6325.