Your teeth may hurt a bit during your treatment with Invisalign clear aligners. Our Edmonton dentists explain why, and how you can manage any pain you might have.
You may have heard that sore teeth or pain are common during treatment with clear aligners. While this is true, you shouldn't allow it to scare you away from this orthodontic treatment option.
If you recall the last time you pushed yourself to complete another 10 pushups or just walk for 20 more minutes, you might have felt a bit sore after. It's the same idea here - your teeth may feel a bit sore while they shift into their prescribed positions, and the aligners work to help you achieve a straighter smile.
Today, we'll explain the challenges you might face during and following Invisalign treatment, and how you can cope with the after-effects.
How much will my teeth hurt, and why?
While pain or soreness will not afflict everyone during the treatment process, this will happen to many. Some describe it as a light pressure on their teeth on the first day they switch to a new clear aligner tray.
From the first day to the seventh day that you wear a new clear aligner tray, your teeth will move approximately .2 millimeters.
Invisalign trays are made of smooth plastic. They come without the wires that traditional braces have that can prod or poke sensitive areas of your mouth, which may sometimes cause irritation. Pain with Invisalign should be minimal, since the plastic Invisalign offers a little more adaptability compared to more stiff plastics. Plus, your custom clear aligners will be made to fit your smile.
Home Remedies for Invisalign Clear Aligner Pain
If you do feel a bit of pain while your teeth adjust to their new positions, there are some home remedies you can try:
Switch to your new aligners at night.
Since you’ll be sleeping, 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.
Are your teeth or gums feeling painful as your clear aligners realign your teeth? Dental wax may help. Apply a tiny amount between your teeth and your aligners, or on any areas that are very tender or sore. The wax will act as a cushion on your teeth as they adapt to your aligners.
Rinse with warm salt water.
Your mouth sores may be soothed with a swish of salt water. 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 with 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 all else fails, over the counter painkillers can be just what you need to help alleviate mouth pain due to a 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, and 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.