Does Invisalign Treatment Hurt?


Dealing with Clear Aligner Discomfort? Here's What You Can Do About It

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.

Tips to Avoid Pain & Discomfort with Invisalign Aligners

By following these guidelines, you’ll reduce the likelihood of pain or discomfort while wearing your clear aligners.

  • Try mild pain relievers for soreness or tenderness. If your aligners are causing your gums, lips, or cheeks to become irritated, or you feel general discomfort from the tightness of a new set, over-the-counter medication such an ibuprofen or aspirin can help alleviate discomfort. Don’t take more than directed by the labeling and your medical provider; if pain persists, contact your orthodontist.
  • Switch to a new set of aligners at night. By sleeping in your new set of aligners, your mouth will have more time to adjust to the fit of the new stage of treatment.
  • Follow your orthodontist’s instructions for wear. Your orthodontist has designed your unique Invisalign treatment regimen specifically for your case. They will give you detailed instructions for how to wear your aligners and when to switch to a new set. But following these directions and beginning a new set of aligners at the correct time, you’ll reduce the potential for pain or discomfort, from wearing a set too early or another set too long.
  • Relieve tension on your teeth by chewing an Invisalign Chewie. Chewies help adjust the fit of your aligners, but they can also offer some relief from tension in your teeth by putting pressure on the teeth by chewing. An Invisalign Movemint can also help with this.
  • Drink hot or cold beverages – without the aligners in! If you’re having ongoing dental tension or pain, a cool drink or a hot tea or coffee can help soothe the feeling. Just remember to remove your Invisalign aligners first: drink nothing but cool water with your aligners in your mouth. Read up on some more do’s and don’ts of eating and drinking with Invisalign aligners.

Common Ways to Help Reduce Pain

These simple tips can help with common Invisalign aligner discomfort.

Male Patient Having Clear Aligner Discomfort

Will Invisalign Pain or Discomfort Stop?

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.

Do Invisalign Attachments Hurt?

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.