Something I didn’t exactly anticipate when getting aligners was just how many new things I’d be having to get used to. Of course, I knew eating would be different, as well as the general care that goes along with the process. But some things, such as feeling like I talk a little differently with them in my mouth, have been unexpected. I’m going to share some helpful tips for getting used to your aligners, mostly because if I had this sort of help going in, there’s a lot I wouldn’t have had to figure out on my own!
Every few weeks, it’s time for another tray change so my teeth can adjust and shift to where they should be. At first, I tested out doing my tray change at night versus during the day. While Orthodontics by Crutchfield recommended doing it during the night, I preferred doing the tray change during the day. Initially, this was because I was more distracted and the discomfort of adjusting to the new tray wasn’t as bad when I could focus on other things.
If you thought you ground your teeth when you concentrate, you’ll know it for sure after getting aligners. Your jaw will be sore! Teeth grinding is a bad habit anyway, so being cognizant of this helps in the long run. With aligners though, grinding your teeth can especially cause damage to the aligner itself and to your sensitive mouth. As for me, I’ve been using a Thera Pearl Gel eye mask on my jaw to overcome my grinding when focusing. Just place it in the refrigerator or freezer beforehand for some soothing relief.
We all know the trope in movies and shows when a character puts a retainer in their mouth and suddenly speaks differently. Thankfully, aligners are nothing like those retainers and they do allow you to maintain your usual speaking voice. However, nothing stops the feeling that you sound unlike yourself. So, here’s what I’ve done. I recorded myself speaking! All you have to do is record yourself when talking to get over the fact that people really aren’t hearing your lisp as much as you think. (Trust me, what you’re hearing in your head is just that – in your head.) Hearing your voice played back really does help.
Naturally, as other things occur on my journey, I’ll be sure to update you with more tips and tricks. For now, these have been the biggies that I’ve noticed so far. Maybe we’ll get an update soon with other helpful hints for all the others who are on this aligner journey alongside me! Guess we’ll just have to wait and see.
Be sure to check out my other blog posts for more helpful tips and tricks about the aligner journey, and stay tuned for more! And if you’re located near the Chantilly, VA area, check out Orthodontics by Crutchfield for your own aligner journey.