Today, our dentists in Peterborough explain why your teeth might hurt a bit during treatment with Invisalign clear aligners, and how you can manage any pain you may be experiencing.
You may have heard that mouth pain or sore teeth are common during treatment with Invisalign clear aligners. While this is true, you shouldn't let it scare you away from this orthodontic treatment option.
Remember the last time you pushed yourself to complete another 10 jumping jacks or walk just a little longer and felt a bit sore after? It's the same concept here - as your teeth gently move into their prescribed positions and your smile gradually becomes straighter, they may feel a bit sore while the aligners do their work.
In this post, we'll discuss the challenges you might face as you progress through Invisalign treatment and after you finish it, and how you can deal with any after-effects.
How much will my teeth hurt, and why?
While not everyone will feel soreness or pain during the treatment process, many will; some describe it as 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're wearing a new clear aligner tray.
Invisalign trays consist of smooth plastic - no wires (like traditional braces do have) to prod or poke sensitive spots in your mouth - this can sometimes cause irritation. You might also notice a little more adaptability in this plastic compared to other plastics which may feel stiffer, so Invisalign pain should be minimal. In addition, your clear aligners will be custom-made to fit your smile.
Home Remedies for Invisalign Clear Aligner Pain
If you do experience pain while your teeth adjust to their new positions, there are home remedies you can try:
Change your aligners at night.
Since you’ll be sleeping, night may be your best time 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.
Use 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 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 report that indulging with 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, 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.