A couple of weeks ago I wrote a post about starting Invisalign treatment, and how it was a little rougher than I had anticipated. Now that I'm on my second set of aligners I've gotten more used to having them in, and have figured out the best solutions to the various problems and discomforts I encountered at the beginning of my treatment. In this post, I thought I'd share some of the things that have helped me out the most as a new Invisalign user so that others could have a more comfortable start to their treatments--these items would also make a nice care package for a family member or friend who is beginning Invisalign!
1. Dry mouth is a common side effect of Invisalign treatment, so having a bottle of water on hand is key. Reusable bottles are a convenient and environmentally-conscious alternative to prepackaged bottled water, and this glass version is good for those looking to avoid plastic. 16oz. BPA-Free Glass Bottle with Silicone Sleeve in Turquoise by Lifefactory, $19.99.2. You can drink plain water while wearing Invisalign trays, but my dentist advised me to use a straw when drinking anything that might stain the aligners. Old-fashioned striped paper straws add a pretty, fashionable touch to your beverage of choice. Pink and White Party Straws by Meri Meri, $4.95 for 24.3. Just as dry mouth can be a problem with Invisalign, so too can dry lips. I've been liberally reapplying lip balm and have gone through it much more quickly than usual--I like this 95% USDA organic variety. Smooth Sphere Lip Balm in Strawberry Sorbet by EOS, $3.29.4. Your hands will get up close and personal with your mouth when inserting and removing Invisalign aligners, which must be done every time you eat or brush your teeth. Waterless hand sanitizer helps keep things sanitary, especially when eating out. Organic Peppermint Hand Sanitizer Spray by EO, $5.00.5. With Invisalign, you have to brush your teeth after every meal. This means going through a lot more toothpaste, and for me the extra brushing can trigger tooth sensitivity. A sensitive or gentle toothpaste is good to have on hand during treatment, as your primary toothpaste or one to use in conjunction with a stronger whitening formula. Sensitive Toothpaste by Tom's of Maine, $5.99.6. Even with the best preparation, the first few days of a new set of aligners--and the first few days of starting the treatment especially--can be painful. I found refuge in beginning a rewatch of Frasier on Netflix, so be sure to engage in self-care and find a distracting and relaxing activity to unwind with. A gift card to Netflix or Hulu Plus can be a thoughtful present for someone starting Invisalign--a card that covers DVD subscription from Netflix is a nice bonus for someone who only has streaming, and Hulu Plus has a much bigger selection of shows and episodes than the free version of Hulu. Netflix Gift Card and Hulu Plus Gift Card, available in various values at many retailers.