Here, our Amherstburg dentists share the reasons why your teeth may hurt a little during your Invisalign clear aligners treatment, and offer you some tips on how you can manage the pain.
While your teeth may hurt a little during your clear aligners treatment you shouldn’t let that fact deter you away from this method of orthodontic treatment.
Think back to the last time you motivated yourself to walk a little bit further or complete another 10 reps and experienced a bit of soreness after? This is the same idea – as your teeth shift gently into their corrected positions to help you obtain a straighter smile, they might feel a little uncomfortable as the aligners do their task.
In this blog, we’ll explain the challenges you might encounter during and after your Invisalign treatment and ways you can manage the after-effects.
How much pain will I feel and why?
While not every patient will experience pain or soreness during their treatment process, lots of patients will. Some describe it as a light pressure on their teeth on the first day they switch to a new clear aligner tray.
During treatment with Invisalign, your teeth will move only about .2 millimeters from the first day to the seventh that you wear a new clear aligner tray.
Invisalign trays are made of smooth plastic - no wires (like traditional braces have) to poke or prod sensitive places in your mouth, which can sometimes cause irritation. You may also notice a little more adaptability in this plastic compared to other more stiff plastics, so Invisalign pain should be minimal. Plus, your clear aligners will be custom-made to fit your smile.
Home Remedies for Invisalign Clear Aligner Pain
If you feel pain while your teeth get accustomed to their new positions, you can try some of these home remedies:
Switch to your new aligners at night.
Since you’ll be sleeping, the night may be your best time to switch to your new aligners. This way, your mouth will have the next 8 hours or so to get used to them and any discomfort, pain or tenderness you feel may disappear by the time you wake up.
Use dental wax.
If you experience pain in your teeth or gums while your clear aligners are straightening your teeth, dental wax might be able to help you. Place a small amount of wax between your aligners and teeth, or on any spots that may be feeling sore or tender. The wax will help cushion your teeth as they get used to your aligners.
Rinse your mouth with warm saltwater.
Your mouth sores may be soothed with a swish of saltwater. You only need ½ teaspoon per 1 cup in warm water. Try this every few hours for 3 to 4 days, keep diligently flossing, brushing and practicing excellent at-home oral care, and see if this works.
Eat cold foods.
Some patients report that indulging in a 100% fruit Popsicle or cold ice pop helps their gums to feel better after they switch aligners. Don’t forget to remove your clear aligners before you eat.
Take an over-the-counter pain killer.
If the other remedies above don't work you can take an over-the-counter painkiller to help relieve the pain you are feeling as the result of your new set of clear aligners.
Apply an ice pack.
Similar to a cold Popsicle, an ice pack, towel moistened with cold water or a cold compress can help to soothe a sore mouth and reduce inflammation.
See your dentist regularly.
One of the most important things to keep doing as you progress through your treatment with clear aligners is to keep seeing your dentist regularly - every four to six weeks.
They will check in on your smile and your progress, answer any questions you may have about whether what you are experiencing is normal, and provide advice.
Another bonus: clear aligners usually don't require adjustments, so your dentist won't need to tighten them regularly like would be required with traditional braces, which may cause some pain.