How to Prepare for Your First Day with Clear Aligners

Whether you choose Invisalign® or Spark™, your first day with clear aligners is an adjustment! It’s normal to be a bit nervous about starting orthodontic treatment for the first time.

“How do I know what to expect? Will I be able to speak with clear aligners in place? Will I have to change my diet?”

You’re not alone; we’ve heard it all before! We love lending tips and advice to our amazing patients as they undergo a life-changing transformation. 

When you visit us for your complimentary consultation, we’ll answer all of your questions and discuss what to expect with treatment. In the meantime, here are a few essential tips for your first day of Invisalign or Spark treatment:


Tip 1: Try speaking exercises!

Speaking with clear aligners can feel odd at first, but it won’t be long before life with clear aligners becomes your new normal. 

Some patients experience a minor lisp when they first begin clear aligner treatment. This is normal and temporary! It can require a little extra effort to properly enunciate words when you first start speaking, but most patients adapt their speech within a week or two.

There are a few exercises you can practice to help enunciate certain sounds, especially “s” and “shh” sounds that can be more challenging with clear aligners. Try these exercises to get rid of Invisalign lisp:

  • Practice pronouncing “sss” “shh” “th” and “ch” with your tongue pushing downward, instead of upward.
  • Take note of the words you struggle to pronounce properly and practice them over and over again until your mouth muscles get used to the new positions.
  • Practice tongue movement to loosen up and strengthen your tongue muscles! Move your tongue side-to-side and up-and-down to help train your tongue for new sounds.

According to a study published by the Journal of Orofacial Orthopedics, 83% of Invisalign wearers get used to their aligners within one week and 93% of wearers say that clear aligners did not inhibit their speech.

It’s likely that you don’t have any problems speaking with clear aligners!


Tip 2: Try Invisalign Chewing Exercises

When you first place your clear aligners in your mouth, they may not snap into place right away. (That’s the point of treatment – to move your teeth into new positions!) This can require you to fully seat the aligner, or ‘click’ it into place.

There are a number of clear aligner chewing exercises that you can practice to fit new clear aligners in place on your first day, and throughout your treatment. Chewing also stimulates tooth movement to support the treatment process!

Clear aligner “chewies” are small circular cushions that you can bite down on to help your clear aligners fit in place. Here’s how to do it:

  • Position the chewie between your upper and lower teeth and bite down repeatedly. 
  • Move the chewie to different areas (between your front teeth, canine teeth and back teeth) and continue biting down until the clear aligners seem to snap into place.


Tip 3: Know that any discomfort is temporary.

Does Spark or Invisalign hurt the first day? According to the same study published by the Journal of Orofacial Orthopedics, 35% of Invisalign patients have no pain and 54% reported mild pain that lasted for only 2 to 3 days following the initial insertion of clear aligners.

You may experience some minor soreness or tenderness around your gums as your teeth adjust to the pressure of your clear aligners. This can be resolved by placing orthodontic wax on the edges of your aligner or by taking a Tylenol. You can also try a salt water rinse (½ tsp salt with ½ cup warm water) to alleviate sensitivity.

When you visit us for your complimentary consultation in Gaffney, Union, Duncan, West Spartanburg or East Spartanburg, our team will tell you everything you need to know to prepare for your clear aligner treatment. 

Patient education is important to us, and we always go to the Nth degree to ensure that you’re informed and comfortable with your treatment process.


Tip 4: Start smiling with confidence!

You can start smiling knowing that you’re going to the Nth degree to create your new smile! Remind yourself how rewarding the process will be and know that any challenges you experience will only make you stronger. Before you know it, you’ll see great progress in your smile. 

Our team is here to support you and help you adjust to your new life with braces or clear aligners. Check out some of our other successful smile transformations for a sneak peek of what your smile could look like!


Still have questions about your first day with Invisalign or Spark clear aligners?

Please don’t hesitate to reach out to us with any questions! We’re happy to discuss any of our treatments or technologies with you. 

If you’re looking for a top orthodontist in Gaffney, Union, Duncan, West Spartanburg or East Spartanburg, we’d love to meet you! Request a complimentary exam for you or your child today.

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