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Invisalign and Teeth Grinding – What You Need to Know

invisalign and bruxism

Wilmette, ILInvisalign clear aligners are an increasingly popular way for teens and adults to get the straighter smiles they’ve always wanted. People love them because they offer a high level of discretion, and they are comfortable and removable. The plastic aligners fit snugly over the teeth to guide teeth to their desired locations. But, if you grind your teeth is Invisalign a good option for you?

“This is a valid concern for patients who grind their teeth,” says Dr. Stosich. “They may be worried that their grinding will damage the aligners. The good news is because the aligners are changed every 7-14 days, you should still be able to use this treatment even if you grind your teeth.

How does Invisalign work?

Invisalign uses a series of customized aligner trays that fit comfortably and snugly over the teeth. Each set is calibrated to achieve a certain tooth movement. You wear each set for approximately 20 hours a day for 7-14 days before changing to the next set.

The aligners are placed over your teeth and are designed to fit your teeth exactly. Each aligner set will guide your teeth to a new position until the desired result is reached. You remove the aligners to eat, drink, and care for your smile.

How does Invisalign impact grinding?

Tooth grinding, or bruxism, can damage the enamel of your teeth and cause breakages or chipping. Most often, bruxism occurs during sleep so patients may not be aware that they do it until they begin to notice signs of wear or experience other symptoms, such as jaw pain or headaches.

Because Invisalign aligners fit snugly over the teeth, they provide a cushion between the teeth, thereby preventing damage caused by grinding. Because the aligners are worn around the clock, only taking them out to eat, drink, brush, and floss, they can even act as a nightguard while sleeping.

For some patients, Invisalign treatment can even help them make their teeth grinding a thing of the past.

“When we correct the bite and align the teeth properly, it can often help alleviate tooth grinding,” says Dr. Stosich. “When teeth are out of alignment, your temporomandibular joint can be irritated. This can then cause the involuntary reaction of grinding. So bringing your teeth into proper alignment using Invisalign can actually help alleviate the habit.”

There are, however, things to consider. Serious tooth grinders can potentially wear out their aligners quicker than patients who don’t grind their teeth. This won’t prevent you from using clear aligners, but this is important for your orthodontist to know when creating your treatment plan.

Additionally, patients who grind their teeth as a result of stress may not find their grinding issue stops. However, the aligners will still be beneficial because they will provide a barrier between the teeth and protect the surfaces of the teeth.

If you need orthodontic treatment and you are a tooth grinder, or if you are wondering if orthodontic treatment may help alleviate your bruxism, call Dr. Stosich today. During your complimentary consultation, Dr. Stosich can help determine the cause of your bruxism and determine the best way to curb the habit, while also providing you with an ideal smile.


  • Michael S. Stosich, DMD, MS, MS

    Dr. Michael Stosich is a board-certified orthodontist and the director of orthodontics at the University of Chicago Medicine. He is known for his extensive experience in leading clinical enterprises, publishing, and lecturing both in the U.S. and internationally. Dr. Stosich has expertise in starting, growing, and maintaining successful orthodontic practices, including those in pediatric dentistry, general dentistry, and multi-specialty clinics. He serves on the editorial board of several publications and has been involved in innovating patient care and education, focusing on the future of dental and orthodontic healthcare.

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