Is Invisalign Pain Common and How Long Does it Last?
Pain and discomfort are common side effects of any orthodontic treatment. This is because a certain amount of force is required to position the misaligned teeth and bite properly. Invisalign doesn’t cause as much pain as traditional braces do since there is no metal wire to worsen the pain.
Since the aligners are made from comfortable plastic that perfectly fit your teeth, the discomfort will only last for the first few days. In fact, over 30% of patients do not experience any Invisalign pain during the treatment and about half the patients face minimal soreness.
Even though the pain experienced will be little, Invisalign delivers the required force to straighten the misaligned teeth and bite.
Typically pain and discomfort with Invisalign aligners last for only a few days after the new aligners are put in. Since patients have to change the Invisalign aligner every two weeks, there will be some degree of temporary discomfort that occurs every two weeks. As your teeth will get accustomed to the new aligners, the pain and the soreness will subside eventually.
9 Tips to Reduce Invisalign Discomfort
To get more benefit of Invisalign treatment and reduce the pain, follow these tips:
1. Eat a Soft Food Diet
If you feel soreness or your gums are tender, it would be a good idea to avoid hard and crunchy food. Choose a soft diet, at least for the first few days. Since soft food requires little chewing, the discomfort will be minimized. Include foods like pasta, pudding, yogurt, rice, and smoothies in your diet.
2. Drink Cold Water or Suck on Ice Cubes
Drinking cold water while your Invisalign aligner is in your mouth helps soothe your sore teeth. You can suck on ice cubes too. But, be sure not to bite them.
3. Cold Compress
You can lessen the soreness by applying a cold compress to the external jaw. It helps in minimizing the pain by numbing the nerve endings in the affected area.
Place the cold compress against your cheek in ten minutes segments, two to three times a day. Do this over a few days until the tenderness and pain subside.
4. Over-the-Counter Pain Medication
You can use over-the-counter pain relievers for minor Invisalign discomfort and pain. Generally, patients find these medications helpful in the first week after getting the Invisalign. However, if the pain persists after the first few days, contact your orthodontist.
5. Use Peroxide-Based Mouthwash
Keep a bottle of peroxide-based mouthwash in your medicine cabinet. This specially formulated mouthwash can heal minor oral irritations that occur during orthodontic treatment. It also provides much-needed relief from teeth and gum pain.
6. Switch to New Aligners Before Bedtime
Typically, the most pain is felt when you switch to new aligners. If you switch to them before your bedtime, you won’t experience much pain as you would be asleep when the pain sets in.
7. Practice Chewing Exercises
Practicing chewing exercises a few times a day, and every time you reinsert your trays stimulates blood flow to your mouth. The nutrient-rich blood flow acts as a natural pain reliever and also helps your trays to fit snugly for maximum teeth movement.
8. Don’t Remove the Aligners
For the Invisalign to produce effective results, you must wear the aligner trays for 22 hours every day. If you leave them out for too long, they will be tighter when you reinsert them. This will lead to more discomfort.
Take out the trays only when you eat, brush, floss, and drink. When you leave in the trays for as much time as possible, it will help your mouth become fully accustomed to your aligners. It will also allow your teeth to shift sooner and help complete the treatment on time.
9. Use Orthodontic Wax
In the beginning of new tray cycles, the edges of the aligners can cause soreness. This soreness will reduce as your mouth toughens up. To accelerate the toughening, you can use wax to cover rough spots and sharp edges. Try this: take a pinch of wax and roll it between your fingers and then apply it to the problem areas.
As you embark on your smile journey, ensure that you establish a personal routine that includes good oral hygiene and habits. Follow all the precautions and tips properly to make sure the Invisalign is effective in fixing your teeth. Remember, the pain won’t last long, and the end result will be great.
However, if the pain is persistent and long-lasting during the Invisalign treatment, ensure that you speak with your orthodontist about it. Your orthodontist can examine your issues in greater detail and provide you that much-needed relief.