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Five Tips to Reduce Invisalign® Discomfort

By Eugene D. Stanislaus on October 17, 2018


An upper row of teeth with an Invisalign tray over itIf you have crooked, turned, or misaligned teeth, the popular tooth alignment system Invisalign® may be the right treatment for you. This orthodontic system uses a series of clear dental aligners to discreetly and comfortably shift your teeth into the right position.

Many patients who are interested in this treatment understandably have a number of concerns. One question the team at Brooklyn Heights Dental receives is whether Invisalign is uncomfortable. The short answer is that this system is far more comfortable than traditional orthodontics.

To reduce the already low incidence of minor uncomfortable sensations, our team in Brooklyn, NY offers five tips to reduce Invisalign discomfort.

Invisalign vs. Traditional Orthodontics

Invisalign is considered to be more comfortable than traditional orthodontics mainly because the Invisalign trays are fabricated from a smooth plastic based on impressions of your teeth. This means that the aligners fit snugly over your teeth, unlike wires and brackets that protrude from the teeth.

For this reason, traditional orthodontics cause abrasion in the mouth, while Invisalign trays do not.

Minimal to No Discomfort with Invisalign

Most patients report little to no discomfort while using Invisalign. Generally, the most discomfort that Invisalign patients experience tends to be with the first aligner.

Patients will not be accustomed to wearing an aligner, and this can take some adjustment. The tongue and gums are sensitive to small changes in tooth position, and so the positioning of the aligner may feel a little awkward at first.

Additionally, patients’ teeth may feel a little sore with the first retainer and during the first couple of days of wearing new aligners (patients wear a new retainer about every two weeks). Thankfully the soreness and discomfort from Invisalign is manageable.

If you do experience tenderness as your teeth move, here are five tips to alleviate discomfort.

Tip #1: Put in New Aligners Before Sleeping

Often, the most discomfort occurs in the hours after you put in a new aligner. By putting a new aligner on before you go to bed, you may just end up sleeping through the pain and feel fine when you wake.

Tip #2: Take an Over-the-Counter Pain Reliever

If soreness persists after you wake, try taking over-the-counter pain management medications, like Tylenol or Advil.

Tip #3: Apply a Cold Compress

For patients who want to avoid using medication, or who are not getting sufficient relief with over-the-counter pain medication, try applying a cold compress. You can apply it to the cheeks, jaw, or lips for around 10 minutes at a time, about three times a day.

Tip #4: Eat Soft Foods

Try eating softer foods if your teeth feel sore or the gums feel tender. Foods that are hard require more chewing and the extra bite force on the teeth can exacerbate pain.

Tip #5: Keep Your Invisalign Trays In

It may be tempting to take out your aligner, but it is very important to keep it in for two main reasons.

First, by removing the tray it will only take longer for you to become used to it.

Second, the entire Invisalign system only works if you keep your aligner in at least 22 hours a day. By leaving your aligner out for longer than this, your treatment will take longer to work or may not work at all.

Learn More about Invisalign Today

Find out how Invisalign can give you straighter teeth by calling our office at (718) 857-6639. You can also fill out our online form and we will get back to you shortly.

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