Here at Clear Smiles, we get a lot of questions from people about pain during orthodontic treatment and what they can expect. The question we hear most often is: Will I be in pain with Invisalign? And to that, we answer: No pain, but there could be times you experience slight soreness during treatment. This just means your teeth straightening process is working. The old saying “no pain no gain” certainly applies to traditional orthodontic treatment with metal braces. However, clear aligner treatment much more comfortable than braces, especially with Invisalign. Invisalign’s proprietary SmartTrack material provides light, consistent force for very precise tooth movements, making treatment time faster and much more comfortable compared to other aligner systems or braces.
We are sensitive to the fact that you may be apprehensive about feeling discomfort during the process, especially if you had traditional metal braces previously as a child. Braces can be traumatizing. When you first get your Invisalign aligners, you may feel the tightness and slight pressure being exerted by the aligners. This is completely normal. As you wear your aligners, your teeth shift into position and the tightness lessens greatly.
That being said, if you are experiencing pain or you feel something is off, it’s always best to reach out to a trusted orthodontist to find out what’s going on.
Here, at Clear Smiles, our Dallas and Houston orthodontists offer some practical advice for dealing with any discomfort you may feel with Invisalign:
· Switch to new aligners before bed
· Take over-the-counter pain medication as needed. Preferably Acetaminophen (ie. TYLENOL), as Ibuprofen has been shown to slow tooth movement.
· Use aligner chewies to ensure your aligners are fully seated
· Drink cold water
· Avoid hard, crunchy foods
· Try Orajel ointment, a topical pain reliever that you can apply to the teeth or gums
And remember: if you do experience a bit of soreness, it just means your Invisalign treatment is working!
Common Types of Aligner Pain
“Pain” is a strong word when it comes to Invisalign, but important to know what to expect when considering clear braces. Here are the most common kinds of discomfort with Invisalign in Dallas.
Tooth Movement and Aligner Fit
This results in minor discomfort, usually described as tenderness or pressure. You may only notice them when wearing new aligners or when you take them in and out to eat or clean.
Pressure Means the Aligners are Working
Your teeth require a minimal amount of pressure to realign. The resulting slight pressure may not be enjoyable, but it’s a vital part of how Invisalign works.
Tongue and Gum Irritation
The aligners’ edges may rub against your cheek, tongue, gums or the floor of your mouth, causing some irritation. If this happens, do not manipulate the aligners. Call your trusted orthodontist or one of our Clear Smiles orthodontists located in Texas right away for help.
Invisalign treatment involves a series of many different aligners. The discrepancy between the shape of your existing aligner and the next one, as it relates to the alignment of your teeth, can exert some pressure. But over time, your teeth will begin to shift and conform to fit the newest aligner.
Ensuring Your Invisalign Process Goes Smoothly
There are other ways to ensure your treatment goes smoothly, with the least amount of bumps in the road. These tips will help you progress through treatment as quickly and effectively as possible, plus they will help you mitigate any soreness as much as possible.
Don’t forget to wear your aligners: The fact that Invisalign aligners can be removed to eat is sometimes a double-edged sword. On one hand, unlike with metal braces, there are no food restrictions because you are able to take out the aligners when eating or snacking. This convenience also makes it easier to brush and floss your teeth. On the other hand, if you forget to put the aligners back in after eating, this can disrupt the process and introduce delays and even more discomfort.
Clean your aligners properly: If you don’t regularly clean your aligners, discoloration, odor and a buildup of bacteria can occur. Every morning, clean both your teeth and the trays completely. When sleeping, lots of bacteria can build up on the trays, so start each morning off right with clean teeth and trays. Do this in the evening too.
Brush and floss your teeth before inserting the trays: If you put the trays back in with food particles stuck in your teeth, you’re essentially trapping them, which can result in cavities and other dental issues.
Don’t leave your trays out in the open when not in use: If you leave them exposed, you’re introducing bacteria, for one thing, plus there’s a good chance you could lose them or accidentally throw them out. To be on the safe side, keep your case with you at all times. If you discover that you left them out for some time by accident, rinse and soak them, followed by another rinse before putting them back in.
Ready to start your Invisalign journey?
Learn more about Clear Smiles’ Invisalign Treatment and how it works here.
Friends, we hope we put your mind at ease about the discomfort involved with Invisalign! Get in touch with our Dallas and Houston orthodontists to learn more about Invisalign’s cost by visiting our website.