Updated: Sep 26
Are you feeling discomfort from your clear aligners and wondering if there is anything that can alleviate the symptoms?
Table of Contents:
What to expect with Invisalign
Your teeth should experience some discomfort and may even hurt a little while undergoing Invisalign treatment. The reason for the discomfort is because your teeth are being actively moved into a new position. What you are feeling is the pressure from the teeth being moved. How long your teeth will hurt will vary but for most people, they only experience the pain for the first day or two. After those two days, you shouldn't feel much discomfort at all.
Overall, from people who have done both Invisalign and braces, they do report that the Invisalign process was much more pleasant. You typically do not have the braces cutting into your lips!
Taking over the counter pain relievers
If the discomfort is a little more than you can handle, you can always take some over the counter pain medication. You can take one of these every 8 hours or as needed.
Ibuprofen such as Advil or Motrin.
Acetaminophen such as Tylenol.
Aspirin is also a valid option as pain relief.
The pain from Invisalign should really only hurt for as long as the first two days so you shouldn't need to take pain medication for longer than that. The best pain relief for Invisalign would be whichever pain medication works best for you so use your own judgement.
Using a cold compress.
An ice pack on your jaw can certainly help alleviate some of the jaw soreness from Invisalign. You can use a cold compress for 15 minutes on your jaw and 15 minutes off while alternating to help numb the area with the cold. The trays can cause a lot of pressure on your jaw when they are trying to move your teeth.
Switching to new aligners
Most of the discomfort from Invisalign comes from switching to the next set of trays. If you just switch them out close to your bedtime, you can avoid feeling most of the pressure since you'll be asleep. When you wake up, you would've made it through a whole 8 hours of discomfort. By the 48 hour mark, your teeth should've moved to the new position so it shouldn't hurt as much anymore.
Remember, each set of Invisalign trays will move your teeth by .25mm
Avoiding hard foods and eating softer foods.
Wearing Invisalign all the time will make your jaws sore and very tired. It may make it more tiring to chew harder foods. It will be more comfortable for you to deliberately eat a softer food diet.
Aside from your rum with a softer consistency requires your jaw to not work as hard. Simply making a wiser food choice may alleviate some of your jaw soreness from Invisalign.
Don't remove your aligners too often
How long your Invisalign hurts you will depend on how long it takes for your teeth to move into its new position. This length of time is usually 48 hours so if you keep taking your trays out and not wearing them, they will cause you discomfort for a longer period of time. If you just wear them for a longer period of time, your teeth will adjust to the new position quicker. The faster they move, the faster it will start hurting you!
Keep your trays on for a longer period of time.
Some people do feel discomfort from their trays for an extended period of time. This can happen if your tray is trying to do an aggressive or complex movement for that particular set such as rotating your tooth or trying to move it at an aggressive angle. Please consult with your orthodontist or even with one of our long island city dentist so confirm if that is the case.
If the tray is attempting a complex movement, it may be helpful to wear the tray for a longer period of time. Sometimes we have our patients wear the same tray for up to 3 weeks to help ease the tooth in. That is of course an extreme scenario since we have most of our patients switch out to a new set of trays every 7-10 days depending on the course of treatment.
Use a nail file to smooth down rough edges of your tray
If your Invisalign tray feels sharp around the edges like they are cutting into your gums, you can polish it with a nail file to make your Invisalign more comfortable. Locate the sharp edges and gently polish the edges. Do not use a scissor since it can damage the aligners.
Aside from your trays cutting your gums, sometimes they can also cut into your cheeks or your tongue. The same solution would apply, where you would simply polish the sharp edges to make it more comfortable.
These are all different methods on relieving the types of pain that Invisalign can cause you. Each cause is different so they will need to be treated differently. Apply the one that concerns you.