In this post, our Delta dentists discuss the reason why teeth hurt while using Invisalign clear aligners and things you can do to help relieve the discomfort.
You may be aware that treatment using clear aligners is known to potentially be painful. Though this is true, you shouldn’t let it scare you away from this orthodontic treatment option.
Remember the last time you pushed yourself to complete another 10 reps or walk just a little longer and felt a bit sore after? It's the same idea here – as your teeth gently move into their prescribed positions to help you achieve a straighter smile, they may feel a bit sore while the aligners work.
Today, we’ll discuss the challenges you may face during and following Invisalign treatment, and how you can deal with the after-effects.
Why Do Teeth Hurt During Treatment With Invisalign Clear Aligners?
Though not everyone feels soreness or pain during the treatment process, there is a good chance that you will feel some pressure at the very least as you switch to your new set of aligners.
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 stiff plastics, so Invisalign pain should be minimal. Plus, your clear aligners will be custom-made to fit your smile.
Ways To Relieve Some Pain Associated With Clear Aligners
If you do feel a bit of pain while your teeth adjust to their new positions there are some things that you can do in order to help provide some relief to your tender teeth and gums:
Change to your new aligners before bed
Since you’ll be sleeping, nighttime 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 to cushion your teeth from the aligners
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 your mouth with warm salt water to help heal
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 to help numb the pain caused by clear aligners
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 to remedy some pain
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 to the areas most affected by clear aligner treatment
Similar to a cold Popsicle, an ice pack, a towel moistened with cold water or a cold compress can help to soothe a sore mouth and reduce inflammation.
Ensure that you regularly visit your dentist for check ups
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.