Today our Vancouver dentists discuss some of the reasons why your teeth could be hurting with Invisalign clear aligners and how you can help alleviate the discomfort you may be feeling.
If you are feeling a bit of pain or discomfort with clear aligners treatment, don't worry it's normal and it shouldn't deter you from this treatment option.
Look back to the last time you motivated yourself to do another 10 reps or to walk just a few steps more and felt a little sore after - it's the same idea here. As your teeth gradually shift into their mapped-out positions to help you obtain straighter teeth, they could feel a little uncomfortable as the aligners work.
Here our dental team explains the challenges you could encounter throughout and following your treatment with Invisalign and how you can help manage the effects.
How Much Pain Will I Feel, and Why?
Though not everyone feels soreness or pain during the treatment process, many will; some describe it as a light pressure on their teeth on the first day they switch to a new clear aligner tray.
During treatment with Invisalign, your teeth will move only about .2 millimeters from the first day to the seventh that you wear a new clear aligner tray.
Invisalign trays are made of smooth plastic - no wires to poke or prod sensitive places in your mouth, which can sometimes cause irritation. You may also notice a little more adaptability in this plastic compared to other more stiff plastics, so Invisalign pain should be minimal. Plus, your clear aligners will be custom-made to fit your smile.
Home Remedies to Help Invisalign Clear Aligner Pain
If you do happen to experience a little pain or discomfort as your teeth shift there are several things you can try at home to help with the pain:
Change to your new aligners at night.
Since you’ll be sleeping, the night may be your best 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.
If you are experiencing pain in your mouth as your teeth are realigning dental wax could help. Place a very small amount of the wax between your aligners and teeth, or on any of the places that are sore or tender. The wax will work as a cushion for your teeth as they adjust to your aligners.
Rinse with warm water and salt.
Your mouth sores may be soothed with a swish of salt water. 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 to 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.
Apply an ice pack.
Just like a frozen popsicle, an ice pack, towel moistened with cold water or a cold compress can help calm a sore mouth and reduce inflammation.
See your dentist regularly.
One of the most important things you have to remember as you continue with your clear aligners treatment is to regularly visit your dentist - roughly every four to six weeks.
They will inspect your smile and the progress of your treatment, as well as answer any questions you might have about whether the pain you are experiencing is normal, and give you advice.