Invisalign is a popular orthodontic treatment option that utilizes clear plastic trays to straighten teeth.
While it offers several advantages over traditional braces, such as being virtually invisible and removable, some patients may experience the discomfort of their tongue getting cut by the plastic trays.
This may happen owing to the movement of the tongue when talking, causing it to rub against the sides of the plastic trays, which may result in cuts and irritation. The sharp edges of the trays are often the culprits behind Invisalign tongue cuts.
While it is normal for some level of rubbing to occur due to the natural movement of the tongue, certain habits and factors can exacerbate this issue.
Factors that may contribute to Invisalign tongue cuts
There are certain habits and factors that can worsen this issue, including:
Some individuals have a habit of thrusting their tongue against the trays, which can increase the likelihood of tongue cuts. This habit may be subconscious or related to certain speech patterns. Being mindful of this behavior and consciously avoiding tongue thrusting can help reduce the occurrence of tongue cuts.
Individuals with a more sensitive tongue may experience increased discomfort and a higher likelihood of getting cuts. This sensitivity can vary from person to person and may be influenced by factors such as genetics or individual oral anatomy. In such cases, extra precautions may be necessary to minimize tongue cuts.
Tray Fit and Adjustments
Ill-fitting trays or trays that have not been properly adjusted can contribute to tongue cuts. It’s crucial to ensure that your Invisalign trays fit properly and have been adjusted to minimize any sharp or rough edges that could cause irritation. Regular communication with your Invisalign provider is essential to address any concerns regarding tray fit and comfort.
When transitioning to a new set of aligners, it is common for patients to experience some initial discomfort, including tongue cuts. This is because the tongue needs time to adapt to the new tray shape and texture. However, if the tongue cuts persist or become increasingly uncomfortable, it’s important to consult with your Invisalign provider to ensure proper adjustments are made.
Ways to Stop Invisalign Cutting the Tongue
Promptly addressing any discomfort can help ensure a more comfortable treatment experience with Invisalign.
Here are some possible solutions when Invisalign is hurting your tongue:
Mindful Tongue Placement
Training yourself to avoid impulsively running your tongue along the trays can help prevent further tongue cuts. Being conscious of this habit and catching yourself when it happens allows you to consciously rest your tongue, reducing the chances of irritation.
Trimming and Smoothing
Carefully trimming any excess molding edges that stick into your gums can minimize irritation. Additionally, using an emery board to gently file down rough or sharp edges of the trays can help make them more comfortable. However, caution must be exercised to avoid damaging the aligners.
Applying orthodontic wax along the bottom edge of the tray provides a protective barrier between the trays and the tongue. This wax can help reduce friction and alleviate discomfort caused by rubbing.
Avoid Irritating Foods
Certain foods, especially those that are spicy or abrasive, can further irritate the tongue and gums. Avoiding these foods during your Invisalign treatment can help minimize discomfort.
Oral Pain Relief Gel
Utilizing oral pain relief gel, such as Orajel, can provide temporary relief from the irritation caused by Invisalign cutting the tongue. Apply the gel to the gums and inside of the mouth as directed to alleviate pain and discomfort.
Cool and Soothe
Drinking iced water can help cool and soothe the affected area, providing temporary relief from the discomfort. The cold temperature helps reduce inflammation and numb the area.
Rinsing the mouth with a specialized mouthwash can help kill germs and prevent inflammation. Look for a mouthwash specifically formulated for oral hygiene during orthodontic treatment.
Remember, every individual’s response to Invisalign treatment may vary, so it’s essential to seek personalized advice from your dental professional to address specific concerns such as when the trays are cutting your lips.
Keep in mind that the natural home remedies discussed above can only provide temporary relief. Persistent tongue cuts or discomfort should be discussed with your Invisalign provider. They can evaluate the fit of the trays and make any necessary adjustments or replacements to ensure a more comfortable and effective treatment experience.