Is Invisalign® Treatment Painful? By Craig Goldin DDS on February 05, 2021

Invisalign alignerInvisalign® is a popular solution for crooked, misaligned teeth. Invisalign corrects malocclusion problems discreetly and conveniently, by progressing patients through a series of clear, virtually invisible aligner trays. Invisalign is considered by most to be far more comfortable than traditional braces, but many people still worry about Invisalign pain.

In general, Invisalign is not a painful experience for our patients from Troy, MI, Birmingham, MI, and Bloomfield, MI, but it can be uncomfortable at times. The team at Cosmetic Dentistry Institute prepares our patients for potential sources of discomfort during Invisalign treatment, and offers tips for minimizing any pain that develops.

Why Does Invisalign Cause Discomfort?

Most people consider braces treatment to be pretty uncomfortable, in large part due to the metal brackets and wires that are placed on the teeth. This hardware not only places a great deal of pressure on the teeth, but it can also rub and scratch at the soft tissues of the mouth. 

Invisalign treatment uses a series of plastic aligner trays that are completely free of metal, therefore, most individuals do not describe Invisalign treatment as painful, but there may be moments of discomfort.

Just like traditional orthodontics, the goal of Invisalign treatment is to shift the teeth and correct the position of the jaw. To do this, patients are given a series of aligners that need to be worn around 22 hours a day. The aligners fit the teeth closely and apply consistent pressure that encourages desired movement. Just as the pressure of braces can cause discomfort, Invisalign aligners can also make the teeth and jaw feel slightly sore.

How Long Does the Discomfort Last?

Invisalign discomfort usually does not last long. Patients can expect the teeth or jaw to feel a little sore for a couple of days after treatment begins. After that, the teeth should gently adjust and any discomfort should dissipate. 

Discomfort may redevelop any time a patient switches to a new set of aligner trays, which happens approximately every two weeks throughout treatment. Again, any discomfort should be short-lived. And many patients find that as they progress through Invisalign treatment, the mouth grows accustomed to adjusting to new aligner trays and that the degree of discomfort diminishes over time.

Tips for Minimizing Discomfort

While Invisalign discomfort should not be significant, there are some practices that can minimize it even further. We recommend these tips for enhancing oral comfort during Invisalign treatment:

  • Use over-the-counter pain medication if needed
  • Wear aligners at least 22 hours a day so that the teeth adjust and respond to treatment as intended
  • Suck on ice or apply ice packs when the mouth feels sore
  • Switch to new aligner trays at night (preferably shortly before bed) so that you sleep through the initial adjustment period
  • Avoid hard, crunchy foods after switching to a new set of aligner trays

Contact the Cosmetic Dentistry Institute

At the Cosmetic Dentistry Institute, we are happy to offer a comprehensive range of dental services that allows our patients to enjoy strong, healthy, and attractive smiles. To find out how we can enhance your smile, reach out to us online, or call (248) 519-1919 to schedule an appointment with one of our experienced dentists.

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Drs. Goldin and Whalen

Cosmetic Dentistry Institute

Drs. Craig Goldin, Marcy Goldin, and David Whalen in Troy, MI, have created a spa-like atmosphere where you can relax while receiving gentle dental care. Our team specializes in a range of general dentistry treatments, including:

To schedule an appointment at our office serving Birmingham, Bloomfield, and the greater Detroit metropolitan area, contact us online, or call (248) 519-1919 today!

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