Here, our Yarmouth dental team explains why your teeth may hurt a bit during Invisalign treatment and how you can manage pain or discomfort that you may experience.
Have you heard that mouth pain or sore teeth are common during treatment with clear aligners? 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 do another 10 reps of an exercise and felt a bit sore after? This follows the same general principle. As your teeth move into their prescribed positions to help you achieve a straighter smile, they may feel a bit sore or sensitive while the aligners do their work.
Today, we’ll discuss the challenges you may face during and following Invisalign treatment, and how you can deal with the after-effects.
How much will my teeth hurt, and why?
Though not everyone feels soreness or pain during the treatment process, many will; some describe it as a light pressure on their teeth on the first day they switch to a new clear aligner tray.
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 from smooth plastic without any wires to poke or prod your cheeks and gums like with metal braces. You may also notice more adaptability in this plastic versus other plastics you may be familiar with. Because of this, the custom-made Invisalign clear aligners should cause you minimal pain.
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 will be sleeping, night is often considered to be the best time to switch to your new aligners. This way, your mouth with have 8 hours or so to adjust to the new aligners and any possible discomfort, tenderness or pain that you may feel in the first hours of wearing a new aligner.
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.
If you get any mouth sores, they may be soothed with a swish of salt water. You will only need to mix 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 everything else doesn't work, you can always take over-the-counter painkillers to help alleviate mouth pain during the transition to a new set of 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.
A dentist will check in on your smile and the progress of your treatment. They will also be able to answer any questions you have about whether what you are experiencing is normal.
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.