Sometimes Invisalign clear aligners can cause minor pain or discomfort as your teeth shift into their new positions, particularly when you switch to a new set of aligners. Today, our Ottawa dentists share a few methods for easing this discomfort.
Clear Aligners Cosmetic Dental Treatment
Orthodontic treatment (using braces or clear aligners) is a dental treatment that involves a significant investment of time and effort. Orthodontic treatment is necessary to correct a number of oral health disorders and conditions, including tooth and jaw misalignments.
However, treatment with clear aligners can also have significant cosmetic benefits; specifically, a straighter, more symmetrical smile. Many people use Invisalign to correct minor misalignments that don't cause them any discomfort or inconvenience but are affecting their self-confidence.
If you are considering straightening your teeth for primarily cosmetic purposes, you may be wondering if the treatment is painful and whether the pain is worth it.
Does Invisalign orthodontic treatment hurt?
A common question we get from patients considering clear aligners is if they cause any pain.
Our honest answer is always that you may feel some minor discomfort as your teeth shift. Typically speaking, you will change to a new set of Invisalign clear aligners about every two weeks. You are most likely to feel this discomfort in the first few days following the use of a new set.
When you initially begin your Invisalign treatment it may also take a bit of time to become comfortable with the feeling of the clear aligners in your mouth.
What can I do to relieve any pain or discomfort?
Here are some tips to help relieve any soreness or discomfort you may be feeling from using Invisalign:
Eat Softer Foods
You may want to stock up on softer foods to eat for the first day or two after switching to a new set of aligners if your teeth are sore or sensitive. Think soups, yogurt, mashed potatoes, macaroni and cheese - anything that will help you avoid having to bite or crunch down with sensitive teeth.
Soften the Edges of Your Clear Aligners
If you notice the back edges of your retainers are causing discomfort, not to worry. It is common for Invisalign patients to receive a new set of aligners and experience slight discomfort in their tongue or cheek from an edge of their Invisalign aligners. To counteract this, you can apply a small amount of orthodontic wax to help prevent any unwanted friction.
You can also try filing down the rough areas with an emery board (similar to a nail file). Be sure to use an emery board that is specifically for your aligners so as to not introduce any bacteria into your mouth.
Take Over-the-Counter Pain Medication
If you're noticing some extra sensitivity, some patients find over-the-counter pain medication such as ibuprofen - contained in Advil, Motrin and other brands - helps relieve any soreness. If you're unsure of which medication to use always check with your pharmacist, dentist, or doctor.
Drink Ice Water or Apply an Ice Pack
Cold temperatures can do wonders for relief. Reduce inflammation by applying an ice pack to the outside of your mouth. You can also drink a nice, cold glass of ice water help soothe the irritated areas.