What They Don’t Tell You About Invisalign?
Oral Health Blog

What They Don’t Tell You About Invisalign?

What they might not tell you about Invisalign is that keeping the aligners clean is crucial and can be a bit challenging. Regular cleaning is necessary to prevent odors and discoloration. Using a purple persulfate-free retainer cleaner can help maintain the aligners' cleanliness without harsh chemicals, making your Invisalign experience more comfortable and effective.

1. The Initial Discomfort

Adjusting to a New Reality

One of the first surprises for many Invisalign users is the initial discomfort. The clear aligners apply pressure to your teeth, and this can cause soreness, especially in the first few days of wearing a new set of aligners. While not unbearable, this discomfort is often unexpected for those anticipating a completely pain-free experience.

Adapting to Speech Changes

When you first start wearing Invisalign, you might notice a slight lisp or difficulty in pronouncing certain words. This is because your tongue needs time to adjust to the presence of the aligners. Most people adapt within a few days to a week, but it's an adjustment period that’s not often discussed upfront.

2. The Commitment Required

Wear Time Discipline

For Invisalign to be effective, you must wear the aligners for 20-22 hours a day. This means they should only be removed for eating, drinking anything other than water, and cleaning. This level of commitment can be challenging, especially for those who enjoy snacking or have irregular eating schedules.

Regular Changes and Adjustments

Invisalign treatment involves changing to a new set of aligners every one to two weeks. Each set is slightly different, gradually shifting your teeth. Remembering to switch aligners and keeping track of the schedule is essential for the treatment’s success.

3. Maintenance and Cleaning

Frequent Cleaning Required

Unlike traditional braces, which are fixed in place, Invisalign aligners are removable. While this is an advantage in terms of eating and oral hygiene, it also means that you must clean your aligners frequently. Ideally, you should brush them after every meal to prevent staining and bacteria buildup.

Special Cleaning Products

While brushing with toothpaste is sometimes recommended, using specialized cleaning solutions or persulfate-free cleaning tablets is often better. Regular toothpaste can be abrasive and cause scratches, making the aligners more noticeable. These cleaning products add to the overall cost and effort of maintaining Invisalign.

4. Eating and Drinking Restrictions

No Eating with Aligners In

You must remove your aligners every time you eat or drink anything other than water. This can be inconvenient, especially in social settings or when you're in a hurry. It also means carrying your aligner case with you at all times and finding a hygienic place to store them during meals.

Increased Oral Hygiene Efforts

Since you need to brush your teeth after every meal before putting your aligners back in, your oral hygiene routine becomes more demanding. This extra brushing is essential to avoid trapping food particles and bacteria against your teeth, which can lead to cavities and bad breath.

5. Potential Impact on Social and Professional Life

Handling Social Situations

Constantly removing your aligners before eating or drinking in social situations can be awkward. Whether it's a date, a business lunch, or a family gathering, you need to excuse yourself to remove and later clean your aligners discreetly.

Professional Challenges

For those in professional settings, especially roles involving a lot of speaking or presentations, the initial adjustment period can be challenging. The slight lisp and the need to remove aligners during meals or coffee breaks require a level of adaptability.

6. Cost Considerations

Comparative Costs

Invisalign can be more expensive than traditional braces. The cost varies depending on the complexity of the treatment and the region, but it's typically higher due to the advanced technology and customization involved.

Additional Expenses

Beyond the initial cost, there are additional expenses for replacement aligners if they are lost or damaged, specialized cleaning products, and possibly more frequent dental visits for check-ups and adjustments.

7. Results and Expectations

Commitment to the Plan

Achieving the desired results with Invisalign requires strict adherence to the treatment plan. Skipping aligners, not wearing them for the recommended time, or failing to follow up with retainers after treatment can compromise the results.

Visible Progress

While Invisalign is effective for many orthodontic issues, it may not be suitable for very complex cases. Some patients might need additional treatments or even switch to traditional braces if the desired alignment isn't achieved.


Invisalign offers a discreet and effective way to straighten teeth, but it's essential to be aware of the full picture before starting treatment. The initial discomfort, commitment to wearing and cleaning the aligners, lifestyle adjustments, and cost considerations are all critical factors. By understanding these hidden truths, you can better prepare for the journey towards a straighter smile and ensure that Invisalign is the right choice for your orthodontic needs.

Are you currently using or thinking about using retainer cleaning tablets? It's important to be aware that certain cleaner brands have the potential to cause toxic reactions.

It's crucial to be aware of harmful ingredients hiding in common cleaner brands. One such persulfate, which can pose SERIOUS health risks and is found in almost all leading retainer cleaners brands. Moreover, persulfate's health risks potentially impact respiratory health and skin sensitivities in your family, especially in teens and sensitive individuals. Learn more about the risk of persulfate HERE. 



The content in this article is for informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice. Always consult with a healthcare provider before making any changes to your health regimen. The author and publisher do not take responsibility for any consequences resulting from the information provided in this article.