The first week of Invisalign can be a big transition period for most patients. As you adjust to wearing your clear aligners, learning to speak with them and adapting to some temporary soreness, you may be looking for some extra guidance to get you through. Here are some of our best tips for helping you power through those first few weeks.
Protect Your Tongue And Cheeks
Before the sensitive tissues in your mouth toughen, Invisalign may cause sores and discomfort on your cheeks, lips, and tongue. These will come from the plastic edges of your aligners frequently rubbing these areas when you first begin to wear them.
You can expect your aligners to fit very snugly, which may cause some soreness at the beginning. Patients often report having a sore tongue during the first few weeks of Invisalign, due to subconsciously running it over their aligners as they get used to them. If you notice this becoming a habit, try to avoid it as much as possible to stop additional calluses from forming. If you notice anything that feels unusual or discomfort that seems to last a while, please contact your orthodontist for an appointment so they can make the right adjustments.
Develop Good Oral Hygiene Habits
Maintaining your oral health during Invisalign treatment will help you achieve all your smile goals at once. Your orthodontist will guide you through the best oral hygiene tips to keep your teeth healthy and your aligners clean; in the meantime, here’s a general guide.
- Always remove your aligners before eating or drinking anything except plain water
- Brush and floss your teeth after any snack, meal, or sugary drink before putting your aligners back in
- Clean your aligners at least twice per day with antibacterial soap and lukewarm water. This makes sure harmful bacteria can’t build up and impact your oral health
- Continue to see your dentist every six months for your regular hygiene appointments
- Brush and floss your teeth in the morning and at night to remove bacteria and prevent tooth decay. You should always brush your teeth for at least two minutes per session, and don’t forget to floss! Your toothbrush can’t reach some tight areas between your teeth, which leaves room for plaque to build up in those spaces.
It’s important to establish these routines early on so you can maintain a high standard of oral health throughout your treatment!
Practice Talking and Singing
You may develop a temporary lisp during your first week with Invisalign. To help you properly enunciate words and speak clearly again as fast as possible, make sure you’re doing a lot of talking and singing. Over time you’ll get used to the way your aligners feel, and will be able to work around any impediments to your speech. You can talk and sing to yourself, or reach out to friends and family to brush up on your conversational skills.
Don’t worry – this phase is temporary and fades out quickly. The more you practice speaking with your aligners, the easier and faster it will come to you.
Try Soft Foods
During the first week, your mouth will be a little sore. While you will be able to maintain a regular diet with all your favorite foods throughout your treatment, you may want to stick to a temporary diet of soft foods and liquids for the first few days until you’re feeling adjusted. Here are some foods to consider until you’re comfortable again:
- Soups and stews
- Soft bread
- Ice cream
- Smoothies and milkshakes
Your orthodontist may also be able to provide you a list of “safe” foods upon request. Unlike with braces, however, this stage won’t last long – soon you’ll be back to eating what you want, when you want. Just remember to always remove your Invisalign prior to eating, and put your clear aligners back in when you’re finished!
Wear Them As Much As Possible
Even if your clear aligners initially cause you pain and discomfort, it’s important to keep them in your mouth for as many hours as you can. In the long run, this will make the adjustment process easier, and help you reach your smile goals faster.
To truly get the most out of your Invisalign, make sure you’re wearing them for a minimum of 22 hours per day. They can be removed for snacks and meals but must be put back in as soon as possible to keep your treatment plan on track. In the first few days, there is a little more lenience, and you can give yourself brief breaks if the discomfort becomes a little too much, so long as they aren’t kept out for long periods of time. You can manage your discomfort with ice, and over-the-counter pain relievers such as ibuprofen, taken in the recommended doses.