Posted on: 15 October 2020
All teeth will experience wear and tear. It's unavoidable, and all you can do is minimize its impact by maintaining a high level of oral hygiene, along with regular visits to your dentist. Wear and tear can be accelerated if you're affected by bruxism, which is the regular grinding of your teeth while you sleep. If your orthodontist recommends that you undergo a course of Invisalign to straighten your smile, will these transparent aligners be effective if you grind your teeth?
Encasing Your Teeth
Invisalign dental treatment works by encasing your upper and lower teeth in aligners, which are made of a transparent thermoplastic. Every two weeks, you change to a new aligner, with a slightly different configuration. Over the course of your treatment, your teeth have gentle and consistent pressure applied to them, coaxing them into the correct alignment.
Aligners and Retainers
Invisalign shares some broad similarities with one of the most effective means of protecting your teeth against bruxism. Many people who grind their teeth wear a night guard—a type of retainer designed to be worn while you sleep. These are traditionally made of strong, heat-cured plastic, but softer acrylic resin can also be used. It's a retainer, which is different from an aligner.
A Physical Barrier
Because Invisalign retainers encase your teeth in the same way as a night guard, they can serve the same purpose—creating a physical barrier that protects your teeth from grinding. But won't this overnight grinding start to break down your aligner, perhaps making it less effective?
Because you change your Invisalign aligners every two weeks, it's unlikely that your grinding will have much of an impact. Before your grinding has a chance to compromise the stability of your aligners, they will be replaced. Some patients might find that their overnight grinding subsides as their treatment causes their teeth to become better aligned.
Of course, everyone is different, and some people grind their teeth more than others. When your bruxism is particularly severe, it could be possible that your aligners will be adversely affected before the two week period is up. Talk to your dentist about your options, but you might be a suitable candidate for certain treatments that help to relax your jaw while you sleep. These treatments can include muscle relaxants and even Botox. You might also wish to consult your doctor to see if there is an underlying medical condition that is causing your extreme bruxism.
Many people with bruxism will not experience any difficulty using Invisalign, and it can offer a layer of protection against your nighttime grinding. For more information about Invisalign, contact a dentist.Share