Invisalign is an incredibly convenient and covert way to improve your smile. If you also wear a night guard for teeth grinding, however, it seems the two are incompatible. As your teeth change with Invisalign orthodontic treatment, so must your night guard. Thankfully, you can make Invisalign work even if you have bruxism and need to wear a night guard. In many cases, the quick change schedule of Invisalign aligners means you’ll be on to the next set before your grinding does too much damage.
What to Consider if You Want Invisalign But Also Grind Your Teeth
Invisalign aligners straighten your smile, but that’s a moot point if your teeth are simultaneously damaged by bruxism. Wearing a custom-fit night guard at the same time as Invisalign is nearly impossible because of the changing landscape of your mouth. It would also be counterproductive to take your Invisalign out and replace it with a night guard overnight because you should be wearing your aligners 20-22 hours per day.
This leaves a big question mark that fortunately has a simple and inexpensive solution. In most cases, Invisalign aligners can serve as a night guard throughout your teeth straightening journey, meaning you can ditch the night guard until your teeth are straight.
Speaking from firsthand experience, Redditor explained how they used aligners to function as a night guard, “I used to wear a night guard prior to starting Invisalign. As I’ve grinded down my retainer fairly significantly, I was worried I would wear through the Invisalign trays. Fortunately, this hasn’t been the case. The trays have worked quite well as a night guard replacement.” They go on to say they even have less jaw tension because the aligners glide smoothly against each other.
Other redditors note that it is possible to grind through trays in the two week period before they are switched out. If this is the case for you, work with your orthodontist to create a more frequent change schedule.
How Invisalign Can Improve Bruxism
In addition to straightening your teeth, a major benefit of Invisalign is that it can reduce or even completely stop teeth grinding and TMJ. For people whose bruxism is caused by an improper bite or misaligned teeth, Invisalign may be the solution.
Proper alignment relieves the pressure on your jaw, which reduces or eliminates bruxism symptoms such as inflammation and jaw muscle soreness. When you finish with your aligners, you might find that you no longer need a bruxism mouth guard.
How to Protect Your Teeth After They’re Aligned
After you’re done straightening your teeth with Invisalign, it’s recommended that you wear a retainer every night for the rest of your life. This again seems to be at odds with wearing a mouth guard for bruxism. If Invisalign eliminated or greatly reduced your bruxism, however, retainers might be all you need to protect your teeth. If you only clench rather than grind your teeth, you might also find that the retainers are enough to protect your teeth and provide relief from your symptoms.
The same redditor mentioned above noticed less wear on their aligners than they used to on their night guard, suggesting they might see the same pattern when they move on to the final Invisalign retainer.
For people who still have strong grinding after Invisalign, a night guard is likely necessary. A professionally made custom-fit night guard is ideal in this situation so it can function similarly to a retainer in keeping your teeth in place.
Importance of Treating Teeth Grinding
It’s understandable to want your teeth to be straight, but it’s dangerous to neglect your bruxism in the process. When left untreated, short term symptoms of bruxism can include tooth and jaw pain, sore jaw, and headaches. Longer term symptoms can include worn enamel, gum recession, TMJ disorder, and tooth damage.
Invisalign is actually ideal for protecting your teeth from bruxism while simultaneously improving your smile due to the fact that the aligners can protect your teeth. When you’re done with Invisalign aligners, a night guard can continue to protect your smile.
Pro Teeth Guard provides custom night guards made in a professional dental lab. They are fabricated using an impression of either your upper teeth or lower teeth, giving a snug fit for less than you would pay for a night guard from your dentist.