February 10, 2023
Do you grind or clench your teeth? The habit can take a toll on your dental health and quality of life, but that may not be the only reason you aren’t happy with your smile. Crooked, gapped, and overcrowded teeth can be embarrassing, but you can have a straight smile using the clear choice in orthodontics. No brackets or wires are used with Invisalign. Instead, clear aligners are worn over your teeth to move them, but what if you have bruxism? Even if you grind your teeth, Invisalign can be the solution you need to revamp your pearly whites.
How Does Invisalign Work?
Invisalign is a discreet alternative to traditional braces. Your dentist uses digital impressions and advanced technology to map the movements of your teeth. The information is fabricated into a series of clear aligners that are worn over your teeth. They apply continual pressure to slowly move your teeth.
There’s no tugging or pulling from brackets or wires. You won’t have any dietary restrictions, but you’ll have to take your aligners out before eating or drinking anything except water. You’ll switch to a new aligner every 1-2 weeks, depending on your treatment plan. While every case differs, most patients are finished with their series in 12 months.
Are Bruxism and Invisalign a Bad Mix?
Bruxism is a subconscious habit that causes you to grind and clench your teeth. Many factors can trigger it, like stress, a TMJ disorder, or a poor bite. The pressure and friction can destroy your teeth with no treatment. You can also develop jaw pain and dysfunction, as well as many other symptoms, like recurring headaches.
Traditionally, bruxism is treated with a nightguard. The custom-fit device creates a cushion between your upper and lower teeth to absorb the pressure. Although this method is very effective, if you remove your aligners to wear a nightguard, you can add serious delays to your orthodontic treatment. Wearing a nightguard over your aligners would also be very uncomfortable.
Thankfully, your aligners are made of flexible, durable plastic, which means they can withstand grinding. However, bruxism can wear your aligners down more quickly. Since you change to a new set every 1-2 weeks, it’s not likely your aligners will be severely damaged. If an aligner breaks or cracks under the pressure, your dentist can order you a replacement.
Invest in a Straight Smile
If a bad bite contributes to your bruxism, permanent relief can be within your reach. Invisalign will fix your bite and alignment to create harmony between the upper and lower teeth. If you still have a habit of clenching your teeth after finishing Invisalign, ask your dentist for a nightguard to safeguard your pearly whites.
About Dr. James Olsen
Dr. James Olsen earned his dental degree from the University of Michigan School of Dentistry and has regularly continued his education in many specialties, like cosmetic dentistry, neuromuscular dentistry, and Invisalign. Request an appointment through our website or call (734) 526-4762 to see if Invisalign is right for you.
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