Invisalign treatment is a popular orthodontic solution for those looking to straighten their teeth without the hassle of traditional metal braces. While Invisalign offers many benefits, it is important to be aware of any potential side effects that may occur. When first starting Invisalign treatment, patients may experience some irritation of the lips, gums, and tongue as they adjust to the aligner trays. This is usually nothing more than a general awareness that something is different and should resolve within a few days.
Additionally, patients may learn about “attachments”, which are small, transparent protrusions that allow the aligner trays to better grip and move the teeth. These attachments can cause localized discomfort on the inside of the lips and cheeks and there is a possibility of developing an ulcer. Again, this is more likely toward the start of treatment, when the mouth is adapting to the new aligners. Most patients will notice that aligners, such as Invisalign, will start working in just six weeks.
The treatment time for most patients is complete in as little as 12 months, and some milder cases in as little as 6 months. Your orthodontist will be able to recommend an approximate treatment time during your first consultation. Most of these side effects usually appear toward the start of treatment or when you switch to a new tray during treatment. This is usually because it takes some time to get used to having the aligners in your mouth.
Although the aligners are smooth and sit against the teeth, irritation can occur on the lips, gums, and tongue, as these areas may rub more against the edges of the aligner at first. Tooth and jaw pain is also common when starting an aligner treatment for the first time or when changing to a new tray. Fortunately, all of these side effects are usually temporary and will usually go away when you feel more comfortable with clear aligners. In addition to physical side effects, there is also a phenomenon known as the “Invisalign diet” which has been reported by some patients who have lost weight after starting treatment with Invisalign. While extremely rare, Invisalign aligners can cause an allergic reaction that is often due to the patented material they are made of.
If you are considering Invisalign treatment, it is important to talk to your dentist to learn more about it so you know if it's the right treatment for you. If you decide to start the treatment process with Invisalign, you may feel that the benefits outweigh the disadvantages because the result is a straighter smile that you can be proud of. If you're worried about losing weight during treatment, see your primary care doctor or a nutritionist for advice on how to maintain your weight. From simple straightening to a larger solution, Invisalign can help correct many orthodontic problems and provide patients with straighter, healthier smiles. Even if your teeth seem to be a major challenge or if you're worried that your teen's permanent teeth will continue to grow, Invisalign may still be an appropriate treatment.
Most patients who have used both traditional metal braces and Invisalign report that the pain associated with Invisalign is much more subtle than pain with metal braces.