4 Tips to Get Through Your First Week of Invisalign
Those who are looking for a way to straighten teeth may consider Invisalign®. It is a great option for people, particularly adults who want to fix their smile subtly. Because the aligners are clear and removable, the treatment is more discreet than traditional braces. When using Invisalign® to straighten teeth, it may take a little time to adjust. Here are things to keep in mind for the first week of wearing this device.
The first week
In the first week, and every time a new set of aligners is worn, there may be some slight discomfort. Some people find that the aligners feel tight on the teeth and that it takes extra time to remove them when eating, as they are more snug. These tips can ease discomfort for the first week with each new set.
1. Manage pain
Over-the-counter medications such as acetaminophen, ibuprofen or aspirin are all options for managing pain or discomfort. Using a cold compress on the mouth, sucking on ice cubes or drinking cold water can relieve pain. Water is the main beverage that should be drunk with braces, as other beverages, particularly sugary ones, can lead to tooth decay. When drinking another beverage, such as coffee or soda, the aligners must be removed. Removing Invisalign® can be a bit more challenging in the first couple of days.
2. Stick with a soft diet
While most people can continue to maintain a regular diet while using Invisalign®, avoiding certain foods may be beneficial when trying to ease discomfort. Foods that require a lot of chewing, such as steak, raw carrots or potato chips, can wear the jaw out and can cause more inflammation in the mouth. Sticking with easy-to-chew foods, such as pasta, soup, soft breads and rice, can help with pain management. However, do not avoid chewing altogether, as many find that the pressure from careful chewing can relieve some discomfort.
3. Leave the aligners in as much as possible
While it may be tempting to remove the aligners to get a break from the discomfort, this can backfire for two reasons. First, it is recommended that Invisalign® is worn for no less than 20 hours a day, to ensure that they have enough constant contact with the teeth to shift them. Second, removing the aligners may prolong the pain, as it will take the teeth more time to adjust.
4. Protect your tongue
The tongue can become just as sore as the teeth while adjusting to new aligners. Rubbing the tongue against the aligners, as many people will subconsciously do, can create sores. Try to avoid touching the aligners with the tongue to prevent sores from popping up.
These are all ways to help make the first week of wearing a new set of Invisalign® aligners easier. While there may be some pain and discomfort at first, it should dissipate within a few days. Keep these tips in mind when starting treatment.
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