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Is Invisalign Treatment Painful?

Invisalign is an orthodontic treatment option that uses clear plastic trays to straighten teeth without metal wires and brackets. These plastic aligners are custom-made for each patient to provide a comfortable, precise fit. This method is often preferred by those who want a more subtle look than what traditional braces can offer.

However, some patients may worry about the potential for pain from Invisalign. Read on to learn more.

How Does Invisalign Move the Teeth?

Invisalign treatment requires you to wear your aligners 20-22 hours per day for two weeks. Then you can move on to the next set until you complete your treatment. Each set differs from the last and gently applies consistent and slight pressure to move your teeth into the correct position.

Invisalign aligners can move your teeth by 0.25mm or less within the first three days of wearing them. Note that this figure may only represent the movement of your periodontal ligament, a small tissue connecting your teeth to the jawbone. That’s why each set must be worn for two weeks before it takes this time for the ligament’s fibres to apply enough pressure for tooth movement.

Does Invisalign Hurt?

Invisalign pain is generally considered to be much less than traditional braces. That’s because the aligners are made of a smooth, flexible plastic that sits comfortably on your teeth and doesn’t rub or irritate your gums. This also eliminates any poking wires, the hassle of metal brackets, and sharp edges, which can cause irritation, pain and mouth sores.

However, you may experience mild pain and discomfort when switching between sets as your teeth become accustomed to the new pressure. This is expected for a couple of days, and you can take over-the-counter pain medications for Invisalign pain relief. Also, the level of pain you may experience can vary depending on the amount of pressure being applied to your teeth and your pain tolerance.

Overall, most patients find Invisalign relatively comfortable compared to other orthodontic treatments, such as metal braces. Additionally, many people appreciate that there is no need for painful adjustments during their treatment.

How Long Does Pain from Invisalign Last?

Soreness and Invisalign pain is typically mild and should last no longer than seven days. As mentioned, you may find that the pain intensifies as your teeth begin to move, but this will subside shortly after each set is worn. With proper care, your experience with Invisalign should remain hassle-free and relatively comfortable.

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What Can I Do to Avoid Pain During Invisalign Treatment?

Here are helpful tips to avoid or lessen pain throughout your aligner treatment:

  • Wear your aligners for the prescribed amount of time so that your teeth have sufficient time to adjust.

  • Avoid eating hard or sticky foods that could cause pain. Stick to a soft diet as you adjust to each set of aligners.

  • Clean your aligners regularly with slightly warm water and the cleaning kit provided by your orthodontist. Avoid hot water, as this can warp the aligners.

  • Visit your dentist regularly for professional cleanings, check-ups, and adjustments if needed.

  • Clean your teeth twice a day to remove food particles or plaque buildup that can result in pain.

  • Check if your aligners fit properly and if there are rough edges before wearing them to avoid pain from Invisalign.

  • Avoid smoking that can cause infection and inflammation of the gums, leading to severe pain. As you know, nicotine can also stain your aligners, so it’s a good idea to quit altogether.

What Can Help Relieve Invisalign Pain?

Here are some helpful Invisalign pain relief tips to help you get through your treatment:

  • Take over-the-counter medications like ibuprofen or acetaminophen to reduce inflammation and discomfort.

  • Use a cold compress or ice pack to reduce swelling. You can also drink cold water or suck on ice cubes to alleviate pain.

  • Eat soft foods and avoid sticky, hard, crunchy, and chewy foods that can put pressure on your teeth.

  • Seat your invisible braces properly and align them with your teeth and gums. This can minimise irritation in your mouth.

Why Should I Start Wearing New Trays at Night?

It is recommended that you start wearing your new aligners before bed at night, as this will help to reduce any pain or discomfort associated with changing sets.

At night, you can wear your aligners undisturbed for a full 8-10 hours at a time. This will allow your teeth to adjust gradually and comfortably without any interruptions.

Additionally, starting with a few hours of wear during sleep may be more convenient for many people than adjusting throughout the day as you go about activities such as eating and drinking.

How Long Does Invisalign Treatment Take?

Treatment time depends from person to person, but on average, it may take 12 to 18 months to complete the treatment. For mild cases, it may take 8 to 9 months and over 18 months for more severe teeth misalignment and bite problems.

Several factors may increase or decrease the time that it takes to finish the process. These include your compliance with wearing trays, the severity of teeth misalignment and bite problems, how quickly your body responds to treatment, etc.

Final Thoughts

Invisalign treatment is an excellent alternative to traditional metal braces for those who want the benefits of a straight and beautiful smile without the discomfort and inconvenience of metal braces. It can be relatively comfortable when done properly, but there might still be some mild discomfort or pain from Invisalign aligners as your teeth adjust. To reduce initial discomfort, wear your aligners for the prescribed amount of time and take good care of them.

If you are considering this procedure but have concerns, book an initial consultation with us now.

Magical Smiles is a modern dental clinic with a team of dentists with years of experience in orthodontic treatments, including Invisalign teeth straightening. Our staff is here to help you every step of the way and answer any questions you may have about your treatment. We will assess your oral condition on the day of your dental appointment to see if you qualify for this procedure. If you are, we will create a personalised treatment plan for you. We will also discuss in detail what you can expect from the treatment and what you should do to care for your aligners.

Frequently Asked Questions

Invisalign takes less time than regular braces. This is because traditional braces are designed to manage more severe dental issues, such as crooked teeth and bite problems, while Invisalign works on more minor problems. However, it must be noted that treatment duration will vary individually.
It shouldn’t be difficult to talk with Invisalign aligner trays. You may experience this difficulty in the early stages of adjustment, but it should go away over time as your teeth start to adjust to the aligners.
When eating, you need to remove your aligners because food particles can get lodged between the aligner and your teeth. This can cause plaque buildup, which can cause dental issues and staining of the aligners. You should also avoid drinking dark liquids like coffee or tea when wearing your Invisalign. These beverages can cause discolouration of the aligners.
Clean your aligners with a soft-bristled toothbrush and a mild dish detergent. Avoid using regular toothpaste, as it may damage the aligners. Rinse the aligners with lukewarm water to remove any remaining soap residue after brushing them. You may also soak them in a denture solution or an Invisalign cleaning solution for at least 15 to 20 minutes. This keeps them from bacteria and plaque buildup. Store them in a protective case when not in use.

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