Today our dentists in Edmonton share the reasons why your teeth might be hurting a little with Invisalign clear aligners treatment and how you can manage your discomfort.
Sore teeth and mouth pain can be common during orthodontic treatment with clear aligners. However, that shouldn’t scare you away from using this popular treatment method.
Think back to the last time you motivated yourself to finish another 10 reps or to keep walking a few steps more and felt a little bit sore after. This is a similar situation – as your teeth start gradually shifting into their prescribed positions to help you obtain a straighter smile, they might feel a little sore while the aligners work.
In this blog, we will talk to you about the challenges you could encounter during and after your Invisalign treatment, and how you can manage the after-effects.
How much will my teeth hurt, and why?
Even though not everyone experiences discomfort or pain during their clear aligners treatment, many people might; some patients could describe it as a light pressure on their teeth on the first day they switch to a new set of aligners.
During treatment with Invisalign, your teeth should only move approximately .2 millimeters from the first day to the seventh day that you wear a new set of clear aligners.
Invisalign clear aligners are made from a smooth plastic - no metal brackets or wires to poke or prod sensitive places in your mouth, which can sometimes cause irritation. You might also experience a little more adaptability in this plastic compared to other more stiff plastics, so if you do feel pain with Invisalign it should only be minimal. Plus, your clear aligners are also custom-made to fit your teeth.
At-Home Remedies for Invisalign Clear Aligner Pain
If you do feel a bit of pain while your teeth adjust to their new positions, there are some home remedies you can try:
Switch to your next set of aligners at night.
Because you will be sleeping, the night could be a good time to switch to your new aligners. This way, your mouth will have the next 8 hours or so to get used to them and any discomfort, pain, or tenderness you feel may disappear by the time you wake up.
Use dental wax.
Are your teeth or gums feeling pain as your clear aligners realign your teeth? Dental wax could help. Apply a small amount between your teeth and your aligners, or on any of the areas that feel very tender or sore. The wax will act as a cushion on your teeth as they adapt to your aligners.
Rinse with warm salted water.
Your mouth sores may be soothed with a swish of saltwater. You only need ½ teaspoon per 1 cup in warm water. Try this every few hours for 3 to 4 days, keep diligently flossing, brushing, and practicing excellent at-home oral care, and see if this works.
Eat cold foods.
Some patients report that indulging in a 100% fruit Popsicle or cold ice pop helps their gums feel better after they switch aligners. Don’t forget to remove your clear aligners before you eat.
Take an over-the-counter pain killer.
If all else fails, over-the-counter painkillers can be just what you need to help alleviate mouth pain due to a new set of clear aligners.
Use an ice pack.
Similar to a cold Popsicle, an ice pack, towel moistened with cold water, or a cold compress can help to soothe a sore mouth and reduce inflammation.
Regularly visit your dentist.
One of the most important things you have to do as you continue with your clear aligners treatment is to keep regularly visiting your dentist (every four to six weeks).
They can check in on your progress, and answer any questions you might have about the discomfort you are experiencing and tell you if it's normal, and give you advice.