You know that Invisalign has the power to transform your smile. You know that it relies on inconspicuous aligners instead of bulky metal wires. You know that the aligners are removable, which means you can take them out during important events, such as weddings or job interviews. Clearly, this time-tested orthodontic treatment has a number of benefits. But since it shifts your teeth around, you might also have some concerns about how comfortable it will be. Is Invisalign painful?
Is Invisalign Painful?
Is Invisalign painful? Like all teeth-straightening orthodontic treatments, Invisalign can cause some discomfort and soreness. The intensity varies from person to person depending on your orthodontic situation, your treatment plan, your pain tolerance level, and more. Some people might describe the feeling as a simple pressure, while others might experience a deeper soreness or more acute discomfort.
When are you most likely to experience discomfort?
When you switch to a new aligner tray, your teeth must move to a new position for the first time. Your mouth and gums may become sore because they aren’t accustomed to your teeth being in this new position. Typically, the pain will only last a few days before fading away.
Remember that this discomfort is a sign that your aligners are working! You’re experiencing pain because your teeth are shifting into a new position.
Also, remember that this pain is temporary. And when your treatment plan is finished, your smile will be straight, beautiful, and pain-free.
How can you alleviate the pain?
Most people experience some discomfort during their Invisalign treatment, but fortunately, there are things you can do to relieve some of that pain. Let’s explore a few options:
- Apply a cold compress. An ice pack also works, as does a plastic bag filled with ice cubes, a bag of frozen peas, etc. Instead of putting the frozen item directly against your skin, wrap it in a cloth or towel first. The coldness will help reduce swelling and numb some of the pain. Feel free to repeat this treatment throughout the day.
- Drink cold water or suck on ice cubes. These ideas also rely on coldness to numb the pain. And because you’re only consuming water, you don’t need to take out your aligners first. Do not chew on the ice, however, as this can increase your pain (and isn’t good for your teeth generally).
- Avoid biting into hard foods. When your gums are sore, it will hurt to bite into hard foods like nuts, pretzels, apples, and carrots. Avoid these until your mouth feels better.
- Take an over-the-counter painkiller. Ibuprofen, aspirin, and acetaminophen will all work. Be sure to follow the directions on the bottle regarding recommended dosage. Many people take an over-the-counter painkiller before changing their aligners to prevent the pain before it happens.
- Use a topical painkiller. Topical over-the-counter painkillers are also available, such as Orajel. Simply remove your aligners and apply the gel to your gums and teeth directly.
- Apply orthodontic wax. In some cases, your aligners may have sharp edges that hurt your gums. You can use an orthodontic wax to cushion those edges and relieve the pain. You can also mention this to your dentist, as they may be able to remove the sharp spot.
- Make sure your aligners are fully in place. If your aligners aren’t seated correctly on your teeth, they may cause unnecessary discomfort as they put pressure on your teeth. This can also cause your teeth to shift into the wrong position. Always check that your aligners are pushed on completely.
- Don’t remove your aligners very often. When your mouth hurts, you might be tempted to remove your aligners to lessen the pain. However, this will just prolong the painful period. Wear your aligners for at least 22 hours a day, as directed. This will prevent your teeth from frequently readjusting, which can be uncomfortable.
- Put in new aligners right before bed. You may simply sleep through the pain! This also gives your teeth a good seven or eight hours to get used to their new position without any interruptions for eating and drinking.
Don’t let a little tenderness, sensitivity, or discomfort prevent you from finally enjoying your dream smile. Although Invisalign can cause some pain, it’s worth it for a beautifully straight and healthy smile.
If you’re interested in straightening your teeth with Invisalign, contact Wilkinson Dental if you live in or near Springfield, MO. We use Invisalign to correct overcrowded teeth, misaligned teeth, gapped teeth, and bite problems, including overbite, open bite, crossbite, and underbite. Check out these before-and-after photos. Finally, to schedule your complimentary consultation, please give us a call at 417-708-0556 or contact us online. We look forward to hearing from you!