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Common Problems with Invisalign and Their Solutions

Updated: Nov 29, 2023

Invisalign represents a ground breaking shift in orthodontic treatment, changing perceptions and practices. It's clear, nearly invisible design has made it a popular choice for those seeking both discretion and effective teeth straightening. But, like all innovations, it's not without its share of hiccups.


Users occasionally encounter challenges, some anticipated and others surprising. This article identifies these hurdles and provides actionable solutions. The aim is to ensure users are well-prepared and confident throughout their Invisalign journey.



Table of Contents




Common Problems with Invisalign and Their Solutions

Discomfort and Pressure


Problem: Adjusting to new aligners involves a period of tightness, reflecting the teeth's gradual realignment. While this sensation is expected, inconsistency in wearing the aligners can exacerbate the issue.


Skipping days or extended breaks means reintroducing the mouth to that initial discomfort more frequently. Such irregularities not only prolong the adjustment phase but can also delay the overall treatment timeline, leading to extended periods of unease.


Solution: The initial discomfort from aligners is manageable with the right approach. Over-the-counter pain relievers like ibuprofen are often effective in reducing the unease. When introducing a new set, starting at night is strategic.

The prolonged hours of sleep allow your teeth to adjust gradually without daytime interruptions, easing the transition. By morning, the majority of the initial discomfort subsides. Regular and consistent wear also ensures that the transition between aligners remains smooth and more bearable over time.



Aligners Become Stained


Problem: When you wear aligners, consuming beverages like coffee or wine poses a risk. These drinks contain pigments that can latch onto the aligners, leading to unsightly discolorations. Over time, such stains can become more pronounced, making your aligners less transparent and more noticeable. This affects the aesthetics and can cause self-consciousness, undermining the purpose of discreet teeth correction.


Solution: To ensure your aligners remain as invisible as they're meant to be, simply pop them out when enjoying these drinks. After all, prevention is the best cure. But if you ever forget, no need to panic! A gentle brush with a soft toothbrush and plain water will work wonders.


You can also use a spray that can help clean your aligners in just 30 seconds. This small routine will keep your aligners clear and sparkling, ensuring they stay as discreet as you'd like.



Difficulties in Removal


Problem: Adjusting to new aligners often presents initial challenges. One of the primary issues is the removal process, which may feel awkward or difficult at first. Over time, with consistent use and practice, most individuals find a technique that works for them. However, in those first few days or weeks, the learning curve can lead to moments of frustration and doubt.


Solution: A good tip is to start removing from the molars, moving slowly towards the front. The more you practice, the more adept you'll become. If you're still having a tough time, there are nifty tools designed just for this. Over time, putting on and taking off will feel as natural as brushing your teeth.



Speech Issues


Problem: Wearing aligners can initially affect speech due to the introduction of a foreign object in the mouth. This new presence, even if it's ultra-thin, alters the usual space where the tongue moves and interacts with the palate and teeth to produce sounds.


Sounds like "s" or "th" may become distorted as the tongue interacts differently with the palate and teeth. This can result in a temporary lisp.


Solution: The key lies in embracing the change and practicing. Engage in regular chit-chats or read your favorite book aloud. The more you speak, the faster your tongue finds its rhythm around the aligners.


With dedicated practice, your speech will return to its harmonious flow in no time. All you need is a little patience and persistence. Before you know it, speaking with aligners will be second nature.



Noticing Gaps between Teeth and Aligners


Problem: Having aligners that don't fit snugly against a tooth can be likened to wearing an ill-fitting shoe—it's not only uncomfortable but can also hinder the intended function. These gaps between the tooth and aligner can mean the tooth isn't getting the right pressure, potentially delaying treatment outcomes.

Moreover, these spaces can trap food, risking oral hygiene and leading to issues like bad breath and cavities. The causes might be varied—from incorrect molding of the aligner and inconsistent wear by the patient to unpredictable tooth movement.


Solution: If you spot such gaps, don't ignore them. They often signal a 'tracking' concern. Your best course of action? Schedule a quick chat with your orthodontist. More often than not, they recommend using 'chewies,' which are akin to small comfort pads.


These 'chewies' help the aligner settle in place when bit down on. With this minor adjustment, your aligners can perform at their best, guiding your teeth toward that picture-perfect smile.



Cracked or Broken Aligners


Problem: Aligners, crucial to orthodontic treatment, are built to be sturdy. However, they aren't immune to damage. These tools can crack or break, Whether due to daily wear and tear or an abrupt removal. Such damage not only disrupts the alignment process but can also be a setback in time and costs.


Solution: Should you face this hiccup, it's essential not to panic. Instead, reach out to your orthodontist. They're your best guide in this scenario. Their advice might vary depending on how long you've worn the damaged aligner. They could suggest revisiting a previous set or fast-tracking to the next. Either way, your orthodontist ensures your path to a flawless smile remains uninterrupted.



Experiencing Dry Mouth or Bad Breath


Problem: Wearing aligners can amplify dry mouth and bad breath issues. The tight fit of the aligners can limit saliva's natural movement, which plays a crucial role in keeping the mouth moist and neutralizing bacteria. When this flow gets disrupted, the mouth dries out, leading to discomfort and increased potential for odor-causing bacteria to flourish, making the wearer self-conscious about their breath.


Solution: Drink water immediately if you feel parched or sense an off taste in your mouth. Upping your water intake not only combats dryness but also washes away potential odor-causing agents. But don't just stop there.


Ensure your aligners are as spick and span as your teeth. Regular cleaning helps keep any unpleasant odors at bay. Lastly, stick to your dental care routine. Brush, floss, rinse. Consistent care will refresh your mouth, ensuring you face the world with renewed confidence.



Conclusion


Invisalign comes with its unique challenges. From initial discomfort to occasional tightness, it's a journey that demands patience and consistent care. Yet, with the right practices, many hurdles become manageable. Always remember to consult with your orthodontist for personalized advice. With time, commitment, and proper guidance, a radiant, perfectly aligned smile awaits you.



FAQ


Q: What are some common problems with Invisalign?


A: Some common problems with Invisalign include discomfort or soreness, difficulty speaking, and problems with the aligners not fitting correctly.



Q: How can I alleviate discomfort or soreness while wearing Invisalign aligners?


A: To alleviate discomfort or soreness while wearing Invisalign aligners, you can try over-the-counter pain relievers, such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen. You can also try using a warm compress or rinsing your mouth with warm salt water.



Q: What should I do if my Invisalign aligners are not fitting correctly?


A: If your Invisalign aligners are not fitting correctly, you should contact your orthodontist or dentist immediately. They may need to adjust the aligners or provide you with new ones.


Q: Can I eat and drink with my Invisalign aligners in?


A: No, you should not eat or drink with your Invisalign aligners in. Doing so can damage the aligners or cause staining. You should remove the aligners before eating or drinking anything other than water.



Q: How often should I wear my Invisalign aligners?


A: You should wear your Invisalign aligners for at least 22 hours a day. This means you should only remove them for eating, drinking, brushing, and flossing.


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