Planning and Preparing for Dental Procedures: Your Questions Answered

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Planning and Preparing for Dental Procedures: Your Questions Answered

Making decisions about your smile can be confusing. Should you have a tooth pulled or get a root canal? Should you get adult braces or stick with a retainer? Should you use at-home whitening remedies or have your teeth professionally whitened? If questions like these are keeping you up at night, you've come to the right place. I used to stress out over routine dental procedures, and as a result, I did loads of research on everything dental-related. To help others, I'm using this blog as a place to collect, review and share what I've learned through the years. I hope you can use the information here to help you plan and prepare for your next dental appointment.

The Urge to Dine on Invisalign: The Effects of Chewing and Grinding on Your Invisalign Trays

While wearing your invisalign aligners, you may at times feel the urge to chew them or even grind your teeth whilst wearing them. This happens because you simply aren't used to having something so bulky in your mouth and so it is only natural that you might sometimes find yourself fidgeting with your teeth. However, while for most people, this is just a temporary stage, others might actually develop a habit of chewing or grinding their teeth whilst wearing their Invisalign aligners.

If you have recently begun using Invisalign, you may be worried about your constant urge to chew or grind on your tray. However, unless you are literally tearing your aligner to shreds, your treatment shouldn't suffer; in fact there may actually be some benefit to chewing on your aligner.

Your Trays Should Survive

Whether you grind your teeth at night while wearing your aligners, or sometimes do it while awake, your trays should be able to stand up to the pressure. After all, you generally will only be required to wear each tray for two weeks before moving on to the next, which isn't long enough to cause massive damage.

With that in mind, if your chewing or grinding habit progresses into something more, such as the urge to actually chew through your aligner, then you need to speak to your dentist about the problem.

Chewing May Actually Help Your Treatment

Invisalign trays work by applying subtle pressure to your teeth in order to move them to the desired position. Sometimes, you may need to bite down on the "aligner chewies" that your prosthodontist or dentist gave you at the beginning of your treatment in order to help the trays fit over your teeth more snugly.

This means that biting down while wearing your aligners may actually help to speed up tooth movement due to the additional pressure applied by your teeth.

Use Chewing Gum to Stop Severe Bouts

However, if you find yourself becoming irritated by the constant urge to chow down on your aligners, you can use chewing gum to keep your teeth busy until the urge goes away. Each time you find yourself chewing uncontrollably on your aligners, remove them and replace them with a stick of sugar-free chewing gum for 5 minutes.

Bear in mind that you do need to keep your aligners in for at least 22 hours per day, so keep track of the time you spend with your aligners out.

While chewing occasionally shouldn't compromise your aligner, this doesn't mean it is okay to eat with them in. The colouring in food will leave your aligners stained and discoloured. If you are worried about your chewing or grinding habit, speak to your dentist about the problem. An experienced practitioner will no doubt be able to give you some invaluable advice and put your mind at ease.