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Whether through traditional braces or new aligners such as Invisalign, teeth straightening is never a painless process. However, any pain caused by your new aligner should not be unbearable, nor should it last longer than the first week of treatment. Luckily, there are several ways to prevent pain or to make your Invisalign stop hurting. If you experience more pain or discomfort than mild discomfort for an extended period, then you should contact your orthodontist for advice. 

Is Invisalign Painful?

You should not feel any significant pain due to your Invisaligns at any point during the treatment process. However, you can expect to experience mild pain or discomfort with your first Invisalign aligner set and sometimes when you switch to a new set of aligners. During the process of putting pressure on your teeth to slowly shift them into their new position, you will experience some mild pain or soreness. Any such discomfort should disappear in less than a week. After changing future aligner trays, tenderness should only last for a day or two. You may experience Invisalign pain in the following ways

  • Ache in the jaw; 
  • Ache in several teeth; 
  • Ache in one tooth; 
  • Ache in the muscles; 
  • Pain in the tongue. 

The good news is that a bit of Invisalign soreness means your aligners are working, and your teeth are straightening! 

Invisalign Tooth Pain

Invisalign and other clear aligners are alternatives to metal braces designed to move teeth. As such, there will be some Invisalign pain and discomfort as the teeth are moved. Each aligner tray will change your tooth movement by different amounts, and a single tooth can become quite sore. This may not be the tooth you expect, as often, just one tooth needs to be moved to make space for others. Other times, a tooth is moved into a new position where it is more heavily bit on by the jaw. 

Invisalign Jaw Pain

Jaw pain or discomfort is not unusual when starting with or changing Invisalign trays. The jaw, muscles, or ligaments may become sore due to clenching or grinding. Mild pain in the jaw will generally disappear after your mouth adjusts and your jaw relaxes into its new position. If jaw pain persists, you can use a warm compress or heat pack a few times daily to ease muscle soreness. 

How Long Does Invisalign Hurt?

It is perfectly normal to experience mild tooth, jaw, or gum pain during the first week of wearing Invisalign aligners. For the first few days, your teeth may ache, and the aligners will probably feel very tight. Generally, the first tray is the worst as far as discomfort goes. After your first tray, any time you alter your tray to a new set of aligners, you may have tenderness for a day or two until your mouth adjusts to the tightness.

Invisalign Pain Relief Methods

While it may seem counterintuitive, one of the best methods of relieving Invisalign pain is to wear your trays as often as possible. On average, providers encourage most patients to wear their aligners for at least 22 hours each day. The more you wear your Invisalign trays, even just a few hours longer per day, the less pain you will experience in your teeth and jaw. Also, the more your teeth become accustomed to the aligners, the easier each tray will fit, and the more comfortable the process will become. 

Be Gentle with the Invisalign Aligners and Your Teeth

At first, you may find it difficult to remove and replace your aligners, so always be careful when inserting and removing them. Do not force your aligners in or try to bite them into place, as this process can damage them and cause them to begin moving your teeth in the wrong direction. Similarly, we advise you not to stick any objects between the aligners and your teeth to remove them, as such an approach can damage your enamel. 

Sometimes, your new Invisalign trays may not fit properly, making you feel uncomfortable by causing rubbing against your tongue. If this rubbing is irritating or you experience facial swelling, try rubbing dental wax on the edges of the new aligners. This approach should ease your discomfort and keep your orthodontic treatment on track.  

Maintain Proper Hygiene

Maintaining proper oral hygiene throughout your Invisalign treatment is extremely important. Remove your aligners whenever you eat or drink, and store your clear aligners in a clean, safe case. Before reinserting your aligners, it is important to brush or rinse your mouth to remove any food particles that could have become stuck between your teeth and aligners. On the other hand, tooth decay can occur if you do not take the proper steps to clean your mouth and aligners. Follow any instructions given by your orthodontist to maintain good oral hygiene and avoid Invisalign pain.

Easy on Crunchy Foods

For the first few days with your new Invisalign aligners, choose soft foods that are easier on your teeth and require less chewing. Such foods include smoothies, milkshakes, yogurt, and scrambled eggs. 

Use Pain Relief Medication

You can take over-the-counter medication such as Tylenol if you still experience Invisalign pain after taking the proper precautions. Placing a cold compress on the painful area can also help ease discomfort and reduce swelling during the first few days of treatment. Other methods for reducing swelling and numbing pain are drinking cold water or sucking on ice cubes. However, if you are experiencing extreme pain at any point during your Invisalign treatment, you should contact your orthodontist immediately. 

When Does Invisalign Pain Become an Issue?

Any pain and discomfort caused by Invisalign aligners should not be excessive or long-lasting. You should contact your dentists or orthodontists immediately if any unbearable soreness or pain persists. There are certain types of pain not usually caused by Invisalign aligners. Make an appointment with your orthodontist immediately if you experience pain in any of the following ways during your Invisalign treatment: 

  • Cold sensitivity that was not there before and is now extreme;
  • Sensitivity to sweet foods; 
  • Sensitivity or pain to hot food or liquids; 
  • Terrible tastes like blood or infection; 
  • Feelings like burning or nerve pain.

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Start Your Invisalign Journey at Loudoun Orthodontics!

Contact Loudoun Orthodontics if you think that Invisalign aligners may be a solution to your dental woes.  Whether you want to learn more about the benefits of Invisalign or simply have questions about the process, use our live chat or call (703) 858-0303 or send us a message through our contact us page to connect with our friendly staff today to book a free consultation! Our office, located at 19465 Deerfield Ave, Suite 304, Leesburg, VA 20176, proudly serves not just Loudoun County but also the Greater Washington DC area. So, if you’re residing in Ashburn, Lansdowne, or Sterling, and are looking for one of the best orthodontists in Virginia, don’t hesitate to visit our office! We also invite you to keep up with our blog to get answers to many of the frequently asked questions about maintaining sparkling oral health as well as follow us on social media to become a part of our smiling community!

Loudoun Orthodontics