A question frequently asked of dentists by patients is whether wearing Invisalign® aligners can assist in weight loss. The internet abounds with unfounded or baseless weight loss claims, thanks to the interest of modern society in finding new ways to lose weight. It is a relatively easy leap to assume that these aligners might help with weight loss, since the alignment trays are meant to be worn as much as possible and they are not meant to be worn while eating. However, despite claims of weight loss, there is no scientific reasoning linking weight loss with aligner-wearing in a broad collection of the population.
Can Invisalign® aligners assist with weight loss?
The general scientific consensus is that there is no link between tooth aligners and weight loss. Some patients may experience minor weight fluctuation while wearing the trays, but this also includes minor weight gain as well as minor weight loss.
Invisalign® can help cut down on snacking
A common thread in internet forums relating to these aligners and weight loss is that people who tend to graze on snacks throughout the day noticed the impulse to snack lessened. This seems to usually be due to the patient deciding against eating a snack, because of the length of the process of removing the alignment tray, eating, then brushing the teeth and replacing the tray in the mouth. However, many of these patients report in internet forums that though the snacking has become less frequent, the portion sizes at meals have increased. Therefore, the overall weight of the patients seems not to change drastically.
Invisalign® can make the mouth tender after adjustments
At the first application of the tooth aligners or on moving up to a new alignment tray, many patients report feeling tenderness in the teeth and gums from the adjustment period. This usually lasts only for a day or two, but some patients say the tenderness has led to lack of an interest in eating in order to avoid pain. While some may think this would lead to overall weight loss, in most cases appetites soon return as the mouth adjusts. Any weight loss during the couple of days of adjustment is usually balanced out as the patient feels more comfortable.
Invisalign® can make the patient more aware of what is eaten
Though the alignment trays are designed to be customized to the mouth of the patient and therefore more comfortable, patients still report being aware of the trays at numerous points of the day. This can reportedly lead to more self-awareness of one's general appearance and spark an interest in weight loss to further improve that appearance. Therefore, many patients tend to start diets as part of a general trend of improving the whole body. Patients should remember that correlation does not mean causation, so just because a diet is started, the resulting weight loss is not necessarily due to Invisalign®.
Most doctors, dentists and researchers agree that the best way to lose weight for most people is through increased exercise, drinking more water and eating a variety of fruits and vegetables. However, while Invisalign® is not scientifically linked to weight loss, its convenient tooth straightening can be a successful way to promote oral health and increase confidence.
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