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How Much Will My Teeth Hurt When Using Invisalign Clear Aligners?

When you have clear aligners in your teeth are being shifted slowly into a different position which may cause some discomfort. Our Family Dental Care - College Heights location dentists in Prince George discuss why your teeth might hurt a little with Invisalign clear aligners, and how you can manage this pain.

If you have or are considering getting clear aligners then I am sure that you have heard some people mention the pain that may be felt with clear aligners. Though this is true, you shouldn’t let it scare you away from this orthodontic treatment option.

As with any area of life, we sometimes need to push our bodies a little with the goal of change. 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 dentists will discuss some situations you may experience during and following Invisalign treatment, and how you can deal with the after-effects.

How much pain will I experience and what causes it?

While pain and tenderness may not be something that is experienced by everyone with clear aligners, a large number of patients will. Some describe it as a light pressure on their teeth on the first day they switch to a new clear aligner tray.

While you are undergoing 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. 

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. 

What You Can Do For Invisalign Clear Aligner Pain At Home

If at any point to feel some pain while your teeth are moving to their new positions, there are some things you can do at home to provide some relief:

Change to your next set of clear aligners before bed.

It is a good idea to switch to your new set of aligners at night as you will be sleeping already when any discomfort sets in. 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.

Utilize dental wax to cushion the aligners.

Sometimes your teeth or gums might feel uncomfortable as your clear aligners realign your teeth. Dental wax may be able to help with this. 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 using warm saltwater.

If you do happen to experience any sores in your mouth from the aligners you can try soothing them 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.

Eating cold foods may help.

Another thing you can try is by eating a 100% fruit Popsicle or cold ice pop to help soothe the gums to feel better after they switch aligners. Don’t forget to remove your clear aligners before you eat.

Use over-the-counter pain medications if necessary.

If nothing else seems to be working then over-the-counter painkillers can be just what you need to help alleviate mouth pain due to a new set of clear aligners.

Use an ice pack for the pain.

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.

Continue regular dentist visits.

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, and 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.  

Do you have any questions or concerns about clear aligners? Contact our Family Dental Care - College Heights location dentists in Prince George to book an appointment today.

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