While Invisalign treatment is designed to be comfortable and easy to wear, some discomfort or pain may occur, especially when first wearing a new set of aligners. The clear aligners are designed to fit snugly on your teeth, in order to move them into their correct positions.
A new set may feel tight at first, but your mouth will soon adjust to the feeling. The aligners work by putting pressure on your teeth to move them into their correct alignment, so you may feel tension or discomfort, especially in the beginning. In fact, mild discomfort or tightness is a good sign that the treatment is working, since it means your teeth are being guided to their correct positions!
There are other minor issues that may crop up, which can cause discomfort or mild pain in the teeth, gums, or cheeks. These are usually simple to treat at home, and we discuss in the guide below what to do if you’re experiencing any of these issues.
Generally, patients find that Invisalign treatment is more comfortable and less painful than metal braces. There are no metal brackets or wires that can come loose and poke your mouth, and rather than tightening the appliance, which can cause soreness in the teeth and jaw, the aligners fit snugly around your teeth for all-around movement. Invisalign aligners are made of SmartTrack material, which is clinically developed for a comfortable bit and effective results.
While Invisalign treatment isn’t entirely pain-free, you can expect mostly comfort and easy use from this effective treatment.
By following these guidelines, you’ll reduce the likelihood of pain or discomfort while wearing your clear aligners.
These simple tips can help with common Invisalign aligner discomfort.
Orajel is a useful pain reliever specifically for the mouth. Apply it directly to the teeth or gum area that is feeling pain or discomfort; the Orajel has a numbing component that will help with discomfort and will help to reduce swelling.
An ice pack or a cold towel can help soothe soreness or discomfort. Ice for only 20 minutes at a time to protect your skin, and wrap ice cubes in a cloth towel.
The cold can be very soothing for soreness or tension from the aligners, or after flossing.
Invisalign Chewies and Movemints are designed to improve the fit of the clear aligners, but they double as a great way to relieve tension from the aligners by putting pressure on the teeth.
The scalloped edge of the Invisalign aligner is designed for comfort, but sometimes an edge will feel rough or push against your gum uncomfortably, causing swelling, redness, and/or discomfort. You can trim the edge at home using a nail clipper or cuticle scissors; trim a small piece to start, and continue incrementally to the length where the edge is no longer irritating your gum.
Most other aligner brands and direct-to-consumers aligners do not offer scalloped edges, and the straight-edged aligners may cause more irritation than Invisalign aligners.
If an attachment is bothering your cheeks, gums, or lips, you can put some orthodontic wax over the area.
While you can eat whatever you want while your Invisalign aligners are out, very hard or crunchy foods may make the soreness in your teeth worse. Wait until your teeth feel better before eating these foods.
Your doctor will determine what the problem is and may have you come to the office to adjust the fit of your aligners.
In the majority of cases, pain, soreness or discomfort goes away on its own, as your mouth and teeth adjust to the feeling of the Invisalign aligners and attachments. You may feel soreness each time you switch to a new set of aligners, but this generally lasts only for a day or two.
Try over-the-counter medication for discomfort or soreness, or try one of the other methods listed above. If pain persists, contact your orthodontist for assistance. It may be necessary to adjust your aligners.
Attachments are small dental fixtures placed on your teeth to give the Invisalign aligners a better grip in moving your teeth: they are bonded to your teeth, but they should not cause any serious pain. SmartForce attachments are designed with innovative technology to provide the necessary grip to the aligners to achieve optimal results.
You may feel discomfort when they are first applied, causing soreness or inflammation in your gums, cheeks, or lips, but you should get used to them quickly as your mouth adjusts to the feel of the attachments.
To ease pain or soreness from attachments, you can use over-the-counter pain medication, such as ibuprofen or aspirin, and if a particular attachment is bothering you, you can place a ball of orthodontic wax over it to prevent it from irritating the same spot.
Remember, Invisalign aligners are like all other orthodontic appliances – a tool used by an expert orthodontist to straighten your teeth and create a beautiful smile. Invisalign treatment is known for being more comfortable than other alternative treatments, but your mouth will still have to adjust!
Some discomfort is normal because that means your teeth are moving, and you’re on your way to a healthy, happy smile.