Today, our Cornwall dentists share the reasons why your teeth might hurt a little during your treatment with Invisalign clear aligners, and ways you can try to help alleviate any pain you may feel.
You may have heard that it's common to experience sore teeth or mouth pain during clear aligners treatment. While this is true, you shouldn’t let it scare you away from this method of orthodontic treatment.
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, our dental team talks about the challenges you might encounter during and following your treatment with Invisalign, and how you can manage the after-effects.
How much pain will I feel, and why?
Though not everyone feels soreness or pain during the treatment process, some will 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 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 more stiff plastics, so Invisalign pain should be minimal. Plus, your clear aligners will be custom-made to fit your smile.
Home Remedies for Invisalign Clear Aligner Pain
If you do happen to experience a little pain while your teeth adapt to their new positions, you can try some of these home remedies:
Change to your new aligners at night.
Because you will be asleep, it might be best to switch to your new aligners at night. This gives your mouth the next 8 hours or so to adjust to them and any pain, discomfort, or tenderness you feel might be gone by the time you wake up in the morning.
Apply 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 your mouth with warm saltwater.
Your mouth sores may be soothed with a swish of saltwater. 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 say that indulging in a 100% fruit Popsicle or cold ice pop helps their gums feel better after switching aligners. Don’t forget to take your clear aligners before eating.
Take an over-the-counter pain killer.
If the above remedies don't work, over-the-counter painkillers may help alleviate mouth pain caused by 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.
Regularly visit your dentist.
One of the most important things you need to do during your treatment with clear aligners is to keep visiting your dentist regularly - every four to six weeks.
They will check in on your smile and the progress of your treatment, as well as answer any questions you might have about whether the discomfort you are experiencing is normal, and offer 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.