Does Invisalign Hurt?

The question we hear most often about Invisalign from our Allen & Fairview patients is whether or not it hurts. Those who have gone through traditional metal brace treatments know that the pain may never be intense, but there’s certainly some pain to be expected. Invisalign is advertised as being pain-free and, at the very least, less painful than metal braces. While Invisalign can help you get a smile you’ll love, it’s not always a pain-free process.

You can expect some discomfort and pain during treatment as your teeth adjust to being straightened. Believe it or not, mild discomfort is actually a good thing, as it means your teeth are being guided to their correct positions. So you’re wondering how much does Invisalign treatment hurt? And how can you make that pain go away? Here’s what you need to know about the slight discomfort associated with Invisalign treatment and how long it lasts, along with tips for relieving any discomfort you might feel during your treatment.

Invisalign Smile

Does Getting Invisalign Hurt?

Invisalign is a very comfortable orthodontic treatment option. In fact, Invisalign may be more comfortable than traditional metal braces, which can cause a lot of pain as they work to push your teeth into place. But getting Invisalign doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll escape pain-free. It’s common for the first couple of weeks with any new set of aligners to be uncomfortable, and it’s also not unusual for your gums and lips to become sore from having an object in your mouth all day. The discomfort you experience goes away as your teeth adjust to the clear aligners as the aligners adjust to your teeth.

As long as these symptoms don’t linger or become worse over time, they’re just signs that your mouth is adjusting to the aligners. The important thing is not to let it stop you from using your Invisalign trays!

Are there tips to Alleviate Discomfort During Invisalign Treatment?

Feel like your Invisalign trays is causing you some pain? Here are some ways to alleviate the pain while you receive your aligner treatment.

Wear Your Invisalign Aligners as Much as Possible

Invisalign Clear Aligners

When you’re sore from your Invisalign aligners, it can be tempting to take them out to get some relief. But if you want the soreness to go away as fast as possible, our best advice for getting over the soreness is to keep wearing your clear aligners. We know this can sound like a pain—but it’s really going to help! Leaving your aligner will help you get used to it faster and get the aligner doing its job sooner.

Use An Icepack, Cold Compress For Invisalign Pain

If you’re experiencing pain and discomfort, or swelling, an ice pack is a simple way to help. Just place the ice pack directly on the area of pain or swelling for up to 10 minutes at a time. You can repeat this as often as needed throughout the day. Make sure to wrap your ice pack in a cloth before placing it directly on your skin. Another alternative is to try drinking some cold water or sucking on some ice cubes, which can also help numb the area affected.

Wear Your Invisalign Aligners While You Sleep

It’s no fun to deal with soreness, especially from your new aligners. While it’s not the most comfortable experience, we’ve got a great trick to help you through those first few hours.

New aligners tend to cause the most soreness in the first hours after you put them in. When patients receive their new aligners, we recommend our Sloan Creek Dental patients wear their new aligners at night. You’ll be able to sleep through the initial discomfort and make your way through the next day without having to experience it while you’re wide awake.

Eat Soft Foods After Starting a New Aligner Tray

Your teeth may feel sensitive at the beginning of any new aligner tray. To give them a chance to adjust, it’s a good idea to focus on soft foods for the first couple of days. By “soft” we mean foods like ice cream, yogurt, mashed potatoes, pasta, and rice. Trust us—your teeth will thank you. Avoid eating crunchy foods as they may make the soreness in your teeth worse.

Ensure Your Aligner Tray is Seated Properly

When you put your aligner in, snap it into place and push it all the way so that it’s flush against your teeth. It should feel pretty snug—that’s how you know you’ve got it in correctly. If you don’t get it in all the way, it can put unnecessary pressure on your teeth and cause some discomfort. Your teeth will feel like they’re being pulled into a position that doesn’t quite fit.

Your Aligner Tray Has Sharp Edges

If you rub your tongue along the edge of the aligner and it feels like it’s cutting or poking you, or if it just feels like it has rough edges against your tongue, this is a concern that you should tell our office. The problem can be easily remedied by telling us where the rough or sharp edge is, and we can smooth it out.

Use Orajel For Invisalign Pain

If you want some relief, try applying Orajel. It’s a topical pain killer that will temporarily numb the affected area. Just take out your clear aligners and use it directly on the spot that hurts.

Take Over-the-Counter Pain Relievers If Necessary

We know over-the-counter pain medication can be tempting, but hang in there! If you’re feeling discomfort after your Invisalign treatment, listening to your body is the best thing to do. Take it easy, drink plenty of water, and get plenty of rest.

If you’re still in pain, you can take over-the-counter pain medicine, such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen, if it’s necessary. But first, we recommend trying the advice mentioned above. Even if you’re experiencing discomfort, it’s usually manageable for most patients without any over-the-counter medication.

Be Patient

For many new Invisalign users, wearing the aligners may result in some discomfort. Just like when you first started wearing your retainer or night guard, you might have to get used to your new mouth accessory. As you get used to having something in your mouth all day, and as your teeth shift, you may find that the pain lessens. If, after a few months of using Invisalign, the pain hasn’t subsided or become much less severe, talk to your dentist for further advice.

Common questions About Invisalign

A 2020 study assessing adults wearing traditional braces and Invisalign found that those in the group with traditional metal braces reported more pain overall. People in the first group were also more likely to need medication for pain relief during the first week of wearing metal braces.

Everyone has a different pain tolerance, and if your goal is to have straighter teeth in a shorter time with less pain than traditional braces, then Invisalign is the preferred choice. The overwhelming majority of patients who chose Invisalign over traditional braces reported that they’re glad they did, and we think you will be too.

If you experience tooth sensitivity on one tooth after using a new aligner, this is normal, and is just a sign that the aligners are working—they’re gradually moving your teeth into the right spot. The temporary pain you feel may not be in the same tooth for every aligner, and the pain should ease up within a few days.

It’s all worth it for the end result

Getting Invisalign can be a little painful sometimes. But the end result is always worth it! You’ll look back at the experience and think, “That wasn’t so bad.” Even though your teeth might’ve hurt a little, you know you’re getting one step closer to that perfect healthier smile!

Learn More About Invisalign

Happy Family Smile

If you’re interested in correcting crooked teeth for a beautiful smile, give our dentist in the Allen & Fairview area a call. Our experienced dentist and team can help you navigate the process from beginning to end and go over your treatment options.

You can reach us at our Fairview, TX dental office to schedule an in-person consultation with us today – 972-468-1440. Our dental office is located in Fairview, Texas, and our patients visit us from across the surrounding areas, including Allen, Plano, McKinney, and Lucas.