When compared to traditional orthodontic treatments with metal brackets and wires, Invisalign treatment is the ultimate in orthodontic comfort. While the pain you feel from any orthodontic treatment is not typically intense, there is a certain amount of discomfort that comes along with any orthodontic treatment you choose.

Here’s everything you need to know about Invisalign, any discomfort that accompanies treatment, and how to alleviate pain you may experience.

Why Teeth Ache During Orthodontic Treatment

Orthodontics work by using gentle force to straighten your teeth over an extended period of time. If you know someone who has had traditional braces, you may have heard them reference the pain that is associated with getting braces tightened. Because of the computer-aided modeling of your teeth with Invisalign, you will receive a disposable, two-week plastic tray that has a very gentle force.

Is Invisalign more painful than metal braces?

Just like traditional orthodontics with metal brackets and wires, Invisalign works by applying force to your teeth, allowing them to slowly shift into different positions over time. In general, Invisalign is less painful than traditional metal braces because traditional braces get tightened roughly every four to six weeks, meaning more force needs to be applied in a single session to get the teeth to move to the next positions.

When it comes to Invisalign, there are a few sources to the pains that you may feel such as:

  • Soreness that comes from wearing aligners that press against your teeth and gums
  • Having the aligners in your mouth on a constant basis
  • The edges of the aligners irritating your gums and inside of your lips
  • Switching to a new set of aligners while your teeth are shifting

Invisalign will not hurt more than traditional braces. In fact, it’s quite likely that you won’t feel much of anything during your treatment.

What Are the Chances I Will Experience Pain and Discomfort?

For most people, it is more of a feeling of discomfort than pain, and the discomfort should only come in spurts, not a constant discomfort throughout the entire treatment process. In general, about 54% of patients experience what is classified as mild pain. On the other hand, 35% of patients report that they had no discomfort related to wearing their aligners.

Soothing Sore Teeth During Invisalign Treatment

Because the whole point of Invisalign is to shift your teeth into a straighter, more becoming, healthier smile, the aligners have to put a certain amount of pressure on your teeth to enable them to change their position. Putting said pressure on your teeth will create soreness, and this soreness will be most prominent in the first few days after putting in a fresh set of aligners.

For some, simply riding out the pain for the few days each month that occurs is easy enough to do. Others may continue to feel uncomfortable with their aligners throughout the entire treatment, and for those of you that feel this way, finding what works for you in alleviating the discomfort is a must. A few ways to get a break from discomfort are:

  • Use an oral pain reliever until the pain subsides
  • Take Advil before you insert a new set of trays
  • Apply a cold compress to your teeth and jaw
  • Drink ice water to keep the gum tissue cool
  • Stick to soft foods that don’t put extra pressure on your teeth

Invisalign shouldn’t be touching your gums, shouldn’t have sharp edges that cut the inside of your mouth, and shouldn’t hurt your tongue. If you find your Invisalign is causing you more than a few days of mild discomfort, get in touch with Dr. Okamura so proper adjustments can be made for the perfect fit!

Dr. Kim Dr. Kim

Dr. Kim Okamura

I'm Dr. Kim Okamura and this blog is a product of my love of dentistry. I dedicate it to all the patients I have served so that they may better understand my craft. The information here will give you and others the power to maintain and protect one of your most priceless gifts ... your SMILE.