I got Invisalign and I was surprised by several things. First off, I don’t love it! All anyone would say at first was that there are so many benefits over braces. No one will be able to tell you have it. The list goes on. Now, don’t get me wrong. I’m excited for the results. But, I think people need to know, my breath stinks, I have a terrible taste almost all the time and I feel like I’m drooling everywhere. Also, at first it kind of hurts. Any advice to help a new Invisalign patient not get discouraged?
-Tamara in New Jersey
Thank you for your honesty. It is important to set expectations beyond the marketing material. Even though you may not be experiencing all the benefits of Invisalign right away, they have one of the highest patient satisfaction ratings in dentistry.
However, let’s take a closer look at some of the not so lovely things you’ve addressed about your experience as a new Invisalign user.
- Discomfort with Invisalign Aligners – Half of Invisalign patients describe discomfort when receiving a new set of Invisalign aligners. It usually peaks about a day into wearing the new set of aligners. Then, it should decrease quickly. Studies indicate that it is much more comfortable than traditional teeth straightening methods, like metal braces. And a third of patients say they wouldn’t categorize this uncomfortable period as pain. It’s more an annoyance and uncomfortable time. Then, usually by day four, is subsides almost completely. This is completely normal. It is exactly how Invisalign was designed to work. The pressure placed by the aligners is causing the teeth to gradually shift into their correct positions. Some anti-inflammatory medication for those first couple days, should help you significantly.
- Yucky Taste in Mouth – So, there’s no way to sugar coat this complaint. When there are tiny food particles and bacteria that are left on your teeth, bad breath is the result. The aligners have a tendency to lock in the bad taste if the teeth are not brushed after each meal. You will also be at an increased risk of tooth decay. So, try to get in the habit of brushing your teeth every time you put your aligners back on. If that’s not possible, try to rinse your mouth with water as best you can before putting them back in. This should improve if you are diligent about brushing.
- Increased Salivation – This is another common occurrence of first-time Invisalign users. Here’s what’s happening. Your body is recognizing a foreign object and is actually trying to digest it. I know it sounds funny, but the “drooling” or increased saliva will go away pretty quickly. Practice speaking in front of a mirror and resist the urge to remove them when you start salivating. If you keep taking them out, this phase will last longer.
4. Significant Other Problems – You didn’t mention this one. But, many patients report that they have relationship drama at first. You may feel self conscious at first that they look funny or feel different. But, the fact of the matter is if you are comfortable, so will your sweetie. Just keep up with the brushing and try to act normal. Just think how things would be if you had those metal brackets and braces.
Stay focused on the end goal with Invisalign. Your teeth will be straightened in about half the time as conventional orthodontics. They are clear, so most people won’t even notice them.
Thanks for keeping it real and sharing your experience. It is always good to be transparent and prepare others so they know what to expect.
This post is sponsored by York, PA dentist Donald H. Currie, DMD