Does Invisalign Hurt?
By Buttercup 7 Day Dental 17th Oct 2018
Many patients who have traditional metal braces fitted report they experience pain for a variety of reasons. These braces are highly visible and require a lot of maintenance, so many opt for Invisalign treatment instead. But does Invisalign hurt?
What Kinds Of Invisalign Pain Might I Experience?
Invisalign treatment should not involve prolonged pain, but some patients do report minor pain or a slightly tense feeling at various stages of the teeth straightening process. This is completely natural as we are trying to gently rearrange your teeth and this might feel unnatural.
Pressure or Tenderness
Invisalign patients sometimes report slight pressure or tenderness in their mouth, normally at the beginning of treatment or when changing aligners.
Since the purpose of Invisalign is to push the teeth into a certain position, there is an element of noticeable pressure.
For most patients, this pressure and tenderness is more a feeling of discomfort, rather than pain. It usually lasts only a couple of days before getting used to the aligners.
Some feel no pain or discomfort when wearing the aligners but do when they are inserted or removed.
Rough Aligner Edges
Invisalign aligners are a discrete method of teeth straightening. Made of smooth and flexible thermoplastic, they shouldn’t be noticeable, fitting nicely over the patient’s teeth.
Some complain the aligner has rough or sharp edges which rubs against their tongue, gums, or inside of their cheek. With repeated rubbing, ulcers may form. It’s best you get this sorted as soon as you realise something is not quite smooth or right.
These rough edges are the result of improper finishing of the aligner and is easily remedied. If you experience rough edges on your aligners, all you have to do is pop into our Glasgow West End dental clinic and we’ll fix it right up for you, free of charge of course!
Don’t try and fix the problem yourself. Many blogs suggest using wax strips or by re-shaping the aligners yourself. You risk damaging your aligner, your gums, and your teeth straightening progress and it’s simply not worth it!
Invisalign Tips For Pain
Whilst it is the minority that experience pain or discomfort during Invisalign treatment, we have a few tips to deal with it should it arise.
To minimise the discomfort you experience, change your aligners before you go to sleep.
This way, the discomfort of adapting to the new trays will be dulled while you’re asleep. By the time you wake up, it shouldn’t be as pronounced.
It’s important to keep your aligners in for at least 22 hours a day. That’s all hours of the day except meal times basically. If you don’t adhere to this, you’ll prolong the cycle of discomfort of repeatedly having to adjust to the pressure of wearing new aligners.
Cold Compresses or Ice Cubes
Placing a cold compress against your mouth for 10 minutes 2 or 3 times a day helps numb the affected area, soothing the pain or discomfort.
Alternatively, in the 2 hours of the day that you remove your aligners, you could suck on ice cubes which will have a more direct impact on the painful spot.
When your mouth is feeling particularly sensitive, it is a good idea to think about your dietary choices.
Avoiding crunchy, hard, chewy foods will prevent unnecessary pressure being applied to already sensitive areas of your mouth
Opt for softer foods until the discomfort subsides.
Monitor Your Stress
Stress has been clearly linked to mouth discomfort. Whether it’s a tight jaw or aching teeth and gums, your best bet is to take a breather.
Be mindful of your stress levels while wearing your aligners. Many people grind or clench their teeth when under pressure, whether they are awake or asleep.
This adds even more pressure to your mouth, worsening the pain of adjusting to the aligners.
Pain Relief Medication
Over-the-counter pain relief medication is also a good option, on its own or combined with these other methods.
Combating the pain with this simple medication can work wonders.
Be sure to consult your dentist or doctor in advance about what your best option and dosage is.
Invisalign shouldn’t hurt and this is just one reason why it is favoured over traditional metal braces.
There are some instances where some patients experience discomfort during Invisalign treatment but these are generally very temporary and easily addressed.
If you are experiencing ongoing pain, please give our clinic a call and we will have a look at what might be wrong as this is not normal.