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Can Clenching Teeth With Invisalign Improve the Tooth Straightening Process?

Dr. Bates talking to patient about grinding teeth and Invisalign

A straight smile can be a valuable investment for your oral health and self-confidence. You don’t want to let something like teeth grinding get in the way of that. As with any orthodontic procedure, it’s best to talk with a professional orthodontist and do some research before you proceed..

In this article, we’re sharing about Invisalign and teeth grinding. We’ll also be answering questions like, “Can Invisalign be used as a night guard?”

We’ll soon explain more about the relationship between Invisalign and night guards, but first let’s start with some basics.

What is Invisalign?

Invisalign is a tooth straightening alternative to traditional wire braces. Instead of placing metal brackets on your teeth, Invisalign uses clear, removable trays placed over your teeth.

An orthodontist will take a 3D scan of your mouth and teeth. Using this scan, they’ll then create an Invisalign treatment plan and start giving you Invisalign trays (aligners). You’ll place these aligners over your teeth for 20-22 hours per day. Every week or two, your orthodontist will provide you with a new set of trays. Depending on your tooth conditions and the regularity of wearing your trays, an Invisalign treatment can take a few months to a few years.

Because you wear Invisalign trays with such frequency, people who grind their teeth wonder if grinding teeth and Invisalign go together.

Invisalign and Bruxism (Teeth Grinding)

Teeth grinding (bruxism) is a condition where people grind, gnash, or clench their teeth.

There are two main concerns behind the question, “Can you wear Invisalign if you grind your teeth?”

  1. Invisalign deterioration: Grinders interested in Invisalign treatment usually wonder, “Won’t grinding my teeth wear down my Invisalign trays?”
  2. Mouthguard usage: People who grind their teeth at night often wear a nightguard. Their main concern with Invisalign and teeth grinding is that it would prevent the use of their nighttime mouthguard.

These concerns are real, but we’ll address why they aren’t dealbreakers if you’d like to pursue an Invisalign treatment. Next up, get the straight answer to your most pressing question.

Can You Wear Invisalign If You Grind Your Teeth?

Yes, people who grind their teeth can receive Invisalign treatment. 

Here’s why Invisalign is actually an ideal option for grinders. Since the aligners are changed weekly, it’s unlikely that grinding will damage them. The aligners also protect tooth enamel from grinding forces. The plastic of the Invisalign mouthpiece absorbs the pressure that’s created when a person grinds their teeth to prevent grinding from harming the tooth surfaces themselves.

Grinders who get Invisalign even have an advantage over those who don’t grind. Because grinders bite down more frequently than the average person, the aligners are being pressed more consistently into place. Clenching teeth with Invisalign often results in greater effectiveness at bringing teeth into proper alignment.

But what about during the night? Does Invisalign work as a mouthguard?

Is Invisalign a Night Guard Replacement?

During the nighttime, Invisalign will act as a night guard for grinders. Invisalign will create an effective barrier between your teeth if you grind at night. The plastic Invisalign tray will absorb the grinding force and protect your teeth. 

As we stated in the above section, wearing Invisalign overnight if you’re a tooth grinder can also help push teeth into alignment more effectively. The added pressure of clenching teeth works in conjunction with the Invisalign tray.

Once you finish your Invisalign treatment, you should look into getting a new night guard to help protect your teeth. You’ll want to talk with your dentist and orthodontist about long-term mouthguard options. 

The Best Richmond Invisalign Provider

Initially, it can seem as if Invisalign and bruxism aren’t compatible. Remember the questions we started with:

  • Won’t grinding my teeth wear down my Invisalign trays?
  • Can Invisalign be used as a nightguard? 

Now you know that with Invisalign, teeth grinding can be a beneficial habit (well, at least during Invisalign treatment). Invisalign, overnight or during the day, is actually designed to leverage your jaw movements, going one step further than a mouthguard, which simply protects your tooth enamel without addressing alignment. Hopefully, that’s a relief and a reason to talk to your orthodontist about how an alignment method like Invisalign could improve your overall quality of life.

Looking for a firsthand answer to “Can you wear Invisalign if you grind your teeth” and other questions?

Bates Orthodontics is a professional orthodontic provider ready to meet all your orthodontic needs. We’ll first provide you with a free consultation with our in-house orthodontist. Once we know what’s going on in your mouth, we’ll talk through treatment options with you. Our goal is to give you professional, expert advice so you can make the best decision.

Schedule your free consultation online. We’re excited to meet you and help you start your journey toward a new smile today!