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How Long Does It Take to Adjust to Invisalign Aligners?

By Joe McIntyre, DDS on November 20, 2018

Female patient placing Invisalign tray in mouthHarrisonburg, VA residents who wish to achieve straighter, more beautiful teeth can benefit from Invisalign. This treatment moves the teeth into their desired positions using removable, clear plastic trays.

Like traditional braces, there is an adjustment period when undergoing Invisalign treatment. How long does it take to adjust to Invisalign aligners? Here, our team at Smiles for Life answers this question and offers tips for comfortable, successful treatment.

Is Invisalign Treatment Painful?

All orthodontic devices move the teeth with steady pressure. This pressure compresses and stretches the ligaments surrounding the teeth and promotes bone remodeling.

As a result, some degree of discomfort is to be expected during treatment. Most patients report a mild tenderness or soreness, particularly during the first few days of treatment and when switching to a new set of aligners.

Fortunately, these side effects can be managed with over-the-counter pain relievers. Any discomfort typically diminishes within the first week.

Initial Adjustment Period

Invisalign treatment begins as soon as your aligners arrive from the lab. We will try on your first set of trays to ensure a proper fit.

You will also be provided with instructions for proper care and maintenance. To be effective, you must wear your trays a minimum of 22 hours every day. You should not remove them unless you are cleaning your teeth or eating.

During the first few days, it can be tempting to remove your trays periodically. However, the more you wear your trays, the faster you will become accustomed to them.

We encourage our patients to take pain relievers as needed and apply cold compresses to the jaw to reduce discomfort.

If the oral soft tissues become irritated, you can place orthodontic wax over the affected area. Your tongue, lips, and cheeks will become accustomed to your Invisalign trays over time.

Most of our patients become fully accustomed to their Invisalign trays in about two weeks. Of course, this can vary among patients, depending on their unique circumstances.

Switching Your Trays

As you progress through Invisalign treatment, you will need to change out your trays periodically. This is typically necessary about every two weeks, under the guidance of your dentist.

Whenever you upgrade to a new set of aligners, some discomfort is possible. To reduce the risk of tenderness, try switching your trays out just before bedtime. Because most discomfort is more evident during the first few hours, you may be able to avoid it altogether by sleeping through this phase.

Additionally, be sure you store your trays properly when you are not wearing them. Place them in a hard, protective case and keep them away from extreme heat. This will prevent them from warping and make your aligners more comfortable to wear.

Contact Smiles for Life

Are you considering orthodontic treatment, but you do not want to wear metal braces? Invisalign could be an excellent alternative option for you. As with any procedure, knowing what to anticipate can help you enjoy a comfortable treatment process. To learn more, contact Smiles for Life online or give us a call.

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