When people first get Invisalign, they tend to be really excited that they've chosen an orthodontic treatment that does not come with the common challenges presented by braces. There are no wires poking out and the appliance does not alter your appearance significantly. However, Invisalign can present some challenges to wearers. The truly good news is that these challenges are easy to address. Learn more below:
Challenge: You keep forgetting to put your aligners back in after a meal.
It's so nice to be able to remove your aligners before you eat! However, some patients find that they forget to put the aligners back in after a meal. You really need to be wearing your aligners for at least 22 hours out of the day for them to be maximally effective, so remembering to put them right back in after a meal is vital. Try setting an alarm on your phone that goes off about 5 minutes after you typically stop eating. If it rings and your aligners are not in, this will remind you to pop them back in.
Challenge: Your aligners are starting to look yellow.
The beauty of Invisalign is that you can't see the aligners on your teeth, but sometimes the aligners start to look a bit yellow, which makes them more obvious. Usually, this happens because you're making a simple mistake with the use or care of your aligners. Are you cleaning them daily? Make sure you are brushing them thoroughly at least twice a day. Are you drinking liquids other than water with your aligners in place? That's probably why they are turning yellow. Even simple, sugar-free drinks like tea can stain your aligners, so drink them with meals when your aligners are already out and stick to water only when your aligners are in place.
Challenge: Your aligners are putting pressure on your gums.
Aligners are so much more comfortable than braces, but sometimes you might feel like the edges are putting pressure on your gums, especially after you've just switched to a new set of trays. The easiest way to deal with this is to apply a little gum numbing gel — like the kind made for teething babies — to the sore areas. The soreness should fade away within a couple of days as your teeth adjust to the new trays.
If you have any other issues with your Invisalign system, reach out to your orthodontist. Most problems are easily solved once you know how to address them.