How to Deal with Invisalign Discomfort
24 May 2021
Invisalign does not need much introduction but if you are new to the world of orthodontics, here is all you need to know in a nutshell.
Invisalign is a pioneer in clear aligners, created by American company – Align Technology. Like its name suggests, Invisalign are customised clear aligners that will straighten your bite discreetly.
Invisalign prides itself for being more comfortable as compared to other clear aligners and less painful than metal braces. Though, to manage your expectations well, there will be some form of discomfort especially during the first couple of days and after you have switched to a new tray. On the brighter side, a certain degree of discomfort is a positive sign that your Invisalign clear aligners are working effectively.
If you find that wearing Invisalign is causing discomfort that is affecting your daily activities, below are some effective ways to manage Invisalign discomfort.
Why does it feel uncomfortable?
Some of the common reasons why Invisalign wearers experience discomfort include:
– Temporary discomfort in the first week as your mouth is not accustomed to wearing Invisalign clear aligners
– Due to your teeth shifting to a new position after wearing a new set of aligners
– In some cases, the edges of your Invisalign clear aligners could be rubbing against your gum or cheek
There is no doubt that the pain threshold varies among individuals but as found in a study on Motivation, Acceptance and Problems of Invisalign patients, generally most Invisalign wearers reported that there was no significant pain, with 83 percent of the study’s participants reported to being accustomed to their clear aligner within a week.
Alleviating Invisalign discomfort
If you are experiencing some discomfort when you have your Invisalign aligners on, here are some simple ways to manage it:
1. Cold compress
Cold compress helps to reduce inflammation and ultimately discomfort. All you will need to do is to place a cold compress on your cheek to soothe jaw, teeth and gum discomfort. Alternatively, you may use a bag of ice or frozen vegetables but never apply it directly on your skin. Simply wrap it with a towel to prevent skin injuries.
2. Ice cubes
Similar to applying cold compress on the affected area, sucking on ice cubes can help to relieve discomfort in your mouth. Sucking on ice cubes can numb the area for a short period of time and this can be handy especially if you are experiencing pain when removing your Invisalign aligners or when brushing your teeth.
Note: If you have opted for this method of relief, do avoid biting the ice cube at any time as doing so can damage your teeth.
3. Use a painkiller
If you find that the discomfort is preventing you from executing your daily activities, you may speak to your dentist or pharmacist about the option of over-the-counter painkillers or topical oral gels. Medication can provide pain relief but it is important that you follow the directions of use.
Ways to prevent
Try these methods to prevent or minimise discomfort during your course of treatment!
1. Switch before bed
For most people, discomfort is usually felt after you have switched to a new tray. If you have been switching to your new Invisalign tray at the start of the day and find that it affects your mood for the day, perhaps you could try switching it at night instead. By doing so, you are allowing your teeth to adjust to the new tray while you sleep and hence, lesser pain is felt during the day.
2. Speak to your dentist
As mentioned earlier, rough or sharp edges could cause discomfort when you have your Invisalign aligners on. If this is the case, speak to your dentist to resolve the issue. Your dentist will help to smoothen your Invisalign tray and hence, giving you a more comfortable experience when you are wearing them.
To understand better about the difference between Invisalign and traditional braces, including the difference between its comfort levels, speak to our i.Dental team to find out more!