In this article, our Kelowna dentists explain why wearing Invisalign clear aligners may cause minor tooth discomfort as well as how to deal with it.
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.
When was the last time you pushed yourself to finish an extra 10 reps or take a long walk and experienced some soreness afterwards? The same concept applies here: while the aligners are doing their job of gently moving your teeth into positions that will help you achieve a straighter smile, they might feel a little sore.
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 millimetres from the first day to the seventh that you wear a new clear aligner tray.
Smooth plastic makes up the Invisalign trays, which means there are no wires to irritate your mouth's sensitive areas like traditional braces do. Invisalign pain should be minimal because this plastic may also have a little more adaptability than other, stiffer plastics. Additionally, your clear aligners will be made specifically for 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.
The night may be the best time to switch to your new aligners because you'll be sleeping. By doing this, your mouth will have roughly 8 hours to adjust to them, and any discomfort, pain, or tenderness you experience could go away by the time you wake up.
Use dental wax.
As your teeth realign with the help of clear aligners, are your teeth or gums hurting? Dental wax could be useful. Use a very small amount on any areas that are extremely tender or sore, or in the space between your teeth and your aligners. Your teeth will be protected from damage as they adjust to your aligners by the wax.
Rinse with warm salt water.
A quick swish of salt water may help to relieve your mouth sores. Only a half teaspoon is required for every cup of warm water. Try it once every few hours for three to four days, then continue brushing, flossing, and taking excellent care of your oral health at home to see if it helps.
Eat cold foods.
Some patients report that indulging in 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, 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.