Here, our Halifax dentists share the reasons why your teeth might hurt a little during your Invisalign clear aligners treatment and provide you with tips that can help you manage your discomfort.
You might have heard that it's common for people to experience sore teeth and mouth pain during clear aligners treatment. While there is truth to this, you shouldn’t let it deter you from this orthodontic treatment method.
Think back to the last time you motivated yourself to do another 10 reps or walk just a bit longer and felt a little sore after? This is the same idea – as your teeth gently move into their prescribed positions to help you obtain a straighter smile, they may feel a little sore while the aligners do their job.
Today, we share some of the challenges you might come across during and after your Invisalign treatment, and how you can manage the after-effects.
Why Your Teeth May Hurt With Invisalign
While not every patient experiences pain or soreness during their treatment, many do. Some describe it as a light pressure on their teeth on the first day they switch to a new clear aligner tray.
As part of your Invisalign treatment, your teeth will move approximately .2 millimeters from the first day to the seventh that you wear a new clear aligner tray.
Invisalign trays are crafted from a 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.
Ways to Manage Invisalign Clear Aligner Pain at Home
If you do experience some pain while your teeth adjust to their new positions, there are a handful of home remedies you can try:
Change to your new aligners before bed.
Because you will be asleep, the night might be the best time for you 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.
Apply dental wax.
If you feel pain in your teeth or gums as the clear aligners realign your smile, dental wax might be able to help you. 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 water and salt.
You might be able to soothe your mouth sores by rinsing your mouth with salted 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.
Consume cold foods.
A handful of patients have claimed that indulging in a 100% fruit popsicle or cold ice pop helps their gums feel better after they switch aligners. Don’t forget to remove your clear aligners before you eat.
Try an over-the-counter pain killer.
If nothing else works, over-the-counter painkillers may be just what you require to help alleviate mouth pain due to a new set of clear aligners.
Use 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.
Attend regular dentist appointments.
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.