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What to Expect with Invisalign

invisalign teeth straightening trays

Today I will answer some of the more common questions that I get about starting Invisalign treatment.  Like many other orthodontic offices, we have many adult (and teen) patients who are interested in Invisalign.  It can provide an esthetic treatment option to patients who do not want conventional or ceramic fixed appliances/braces. Let’s review some of the more common questions I get about Invisalign.

Does Invisalign hurt?


Like braces, Invisalign moves and straightens teeth.  When the teeth start to move, many patients experience some type of discomfort in the first few days.  An over-the-counter pain medication can be used if it is needed.  We also recommend eating soft foods for the first few days.  This discomfort should improve quickly! However, you may experience some discomfort at points during treatment as you change trays and progress through treatment.


Can I eat and drink with my trays?


We usually recommend removing your trays when eating or drinking anything besides water.  Dark liquids like coffee and soda can stain the trays.  After eating, use a toothbrush to lightly brush the trays (or minimally rinse with water) before replacing them in your mouth.  Don’t forget to put them back in!


How many hours a day do I have to wear the trays?


Compliance is key with Invisalign. Invisalign only works when it is being worn.  Ideally, full time wear or 22+ hours of wear a day is optimal for teeth movement.  The trays should only be removed to eat and to brush. Do not forget to brush and rinse your trays as well!


Will the Invisalign affect my speech?


Just like you have to break in a new pair of shoes or adjust to regular braces, you will also have to adjust to your new Invisalign trays.  In your first few days of treatment, you may find that your tongue, lips, and cheeks must learn to adapt to the new trays.  Once adapted, your speech should not be affected by the trays.


What are attachments?  Do I need them?


Most Invisalign cases require some type of attachments on the teeth.  Attachment are small, tooth-colored ridges on the teeth that work with the Invisalign trays.  These are like the door handles for Invisalign.  The attachments work with the Invisalign trays to move the teeth.  They stay on the teeth during treatment and are removed at the end of treatment.


How many trays will I need?


The number of Invisalign trays required for each patient varies widely.  Some people can benefit from an Invisalign Express treatment of 5-10 trays while others require full treatment with a varying number of trays.  Also keep in mind that your first set of trays is not necessarily all of the trays that you will need to complete your treatment.  Many times, a second set of refinement trays must be used at some point during treatment.

More questions? Check out Invisalign’s website for more information.

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