Invisalign attachments refer to the small, tooth-colored bumps or ridges that are bonded to the teeth to help the aligners apply the necessary force for tooth movement.
While these attachments play a crucial role in the effectiveness of the Invisalign treatment, some individuals often experience discomfort and pain during the initial stages of their, especially when eating with Invisalign.
The attachments may feel sharp, like spikes or thorns, making it difficult to consume food, and painful to insert and remove them. This sharpness can stem from several factors, including the placement of the attachments, the material used, or even wear and tear over time.
An even bigger challenge is the little benefit that you get from using orthodontic wax. While dental wax can be helpful in reducing irritation caused by sharp attachments, it may not always provide effective relief, particularly in areas next to gaps where teeth were extracted.
So how to you deal with this?
Challenges associated with Sharp Invisalign Attachments
- Difficulty eating: The attachments may like thorns, making it difficult to chew your food properly
- Ineffective dental wax: Wax blobs may be difficult to keep in place, and swallowing them can be a concern.
- Difficulty with tray removal: Taking out the trays can be a painful experience, with some individuals feeling like they are tearing out a tooth or experiencing significant discomfort.
- Negative emotions: The presence of sharp attachments and associated discomfort can lead to feelings of frustration, depression, and a lack of motivation to continue with the treatment.
Causes of Sharp Invisalign Attachments
Sharp edges in aligner trays can occur due to various reasons during the manufacturing process or from wear and tear over time:
Excessive wear or damage
The material used for Invisalign attachments is typically a composite resin that can harden and become rigid. Over time, it is possible for these attachments to wear down, creating sharp edges that may irritate the soft tissues in the mouth. If you notice any sharpness or discomfort, you should inform your dental professional so that they can assess the condition of the attachments and replace them if needed.
Sometimes, the placement of the attachments can contribute to their sharpness. If an attachment is positioned in a way that it protrudes or rubs against the inner cheeks or tongue, it can cause discomfort or even small sores. In such cases, you should consult with your dentist or orthodontist to evaluate the attachment placement and determine if adjustments are necessary.
Dealing with sharp Invisalign attachments
When faced with sharp attachments that cause discomfort and irritation, there are several solutions that can help alleviate the problem and manage any mouth sores from Invisalign:
Seeking professional assistance
If you find that some attachments are excessively sharp and causing discomfort, it is advisable to reach out to your orthodontist or dental professional. They have the expertise to evaluate the attachments and make necessary adjustments to ensure a better fit and reduce sharpness. By addressing the issue promptly, you can improve your overall comfort during the treatment.
Filing down attachments
In some cases, orthodontists may use a dental file to carefully smooth out the sharp edges of the attachments. This procedure helps to reduce their sharpness and make them more comfortable against your lips and cheeks. It is essential to have this done by a professional to ensure that the attachments are appropriately adjusted without compromising their effectiveness.
Applying dental wax
Dental wax can be a useful temporary solution to create a protective barrier between the sharp attachments and your soft oral tissues. Take a small amount of dental wax, soften it by warming it between your fingers, and gently press it onto the sharp attachment. This can help reduce irritation and prevent the attachments from causing further discomfort and mouth sores. Keep in mind that you will need to keep reapplying the dental wax as it wears off or becomes dislodged during eating or brushing.
Using orthodontic silicone or dental silicone
Orthodontic silicone or dental silicone products are designed specifically to provide cushioning and protection for sensitive areas in the mouth. These soft, pliable materials can be molded around the sharp attachments to create a buffer zone and minimize irritation. They offer a longer-lasting solution compared to dental wax and can be more effective in reducing discomfort.
Maintaining good oral hygiene
Proper oral hygiene practices are crucial when wearing Invisalign attachments. Regular brushing, flossing, and rinsing with mouthwash help to keep your mouth clean and minimize the risk of irritation. By maintaining good oral hygiene, you can prevent food particles from getting trapped around the attachments, which can contribute to discomfort and potential inflammation.
Remember, it is important to communicate any issues or concerns you have regarding sharp Invisalign attachments to your orthodontist or dental professional. They are best equipped to assess the situation and provide personalized solutions to enhance your comfort throughout your treatment.