Invisalign tooth sensitivity is a common side effect when you start wearing your Invisalign aligners. This can be caused by the pressure and friction of the aligners on your teeth. Fortunately, there are several things you can do to prevent and treat it. In this blog post, we will discuss preventing and treating Invisalign tooth sensitivity. We will also provide tips for keeping your teeth healthy during your treatment!
- Invisalign: An Overview
- Benefits of Invisalign
- Does Invisalign treatment hurt?
- How long does it last?
- When is pain or sensitivity a concern?
- Teeth sensitivity remedies
Invisalign: An Overview
Invisalign aligner trays are a popular alternative to traditional braces that help straighten the teeth into a better position.
Just like the Invisalign System, clear aligners are an inconspicuous, removable alternative to traditional metal braces. When you get these custom-made, clear plastic aligners, you’ll receive several months’ worth in advance, and you’ll change them out at regular intervals (usually about every two weeks) to help shift your teeth into the proper position. The entire series of aligners could take up to nine months or longer, depending on the amount of alignment needed. If you’re hesitant to wear traditional wire-and-bracket orthodontic hardware but still want to straighten your teeth, clear aligners could be the right solution for you.
Benefits of Invisalign
If you’re thinking about improving your dental health by straightening your teeth, you may want to consider getting clear aligners instead of traditional braces. There are many benefits to these transparent plastic corrective devices. Still, they can also be more expensive than the metal wires, brackets, and rubber bands that are the most common alternative. So is the added cost that comes with modernization in tooth alignment worth it?
Aesthetics: One of the biggest reasons you may prefer clear aligners is that you don’t want the appearance of metal in your mouth.
Ease of use: You can remove clear aligners at any time, enabling you to eat the foods you love, practice good oral hygiene, and feel a bit more comfortable while something is changing the alignment of your teeth.
Comfort: Clear aligners feel more like the texture of your actual teeth than metal brackets and wires do.
Fewer Orthodontic Visits: Many people prefer the at-home biweekly change in clear aligners to orthodontists’ sometimes painful tightening of wires.
Easier maintenance: With clear aligners, you can switch to the next aligner in your series if there’s any damage.
Easier Teeth Cleaning: Say no to developing tooth decay! When you have clear aligners, you can simply remove them and practice proper oral hygiene the way you always do. Good oral hygiene is vital to the success of your treatment.
Does Invisalign treatment hurt?
One of the people’s main concerns about Invisalign is whether or not the treatment hurts. Typically, tooth sensitivity comes from reduced tooth enamel. Enamel protects your teeth, and the less there is, the less protection your teeth will have. Additionally, brushing vigorously, naturally receding gums, cracked teeth, tooth filling, or even teeth whitening can be amongst the causes of sensitive teeth.
Orthodontic appliances for straightening teeth, like clear aligners, do not hurt in most cases. However, if you have naturally sensitive teeth, the likelihood of you complaining about discomfort is high. Invisalign may be more comfortable than metal braces, but there’s still a chance that you may experience mild pain or discomfort.
Yes, it is possible that for some, Invisalign hurts. However, the pain caused by these clear aligners is milder than the traditional braces we know. The potential for pain seems to be greatest within the first week of using invisible teeth aligners. Pain experienced from Invisalign is also dependent on individual pain tolerance. It’s even possible to experience no pain at all.
Moreover, some people may experience sensitivity to the aligners. This sensitivity can be caused by the pressure and friction of the aligners on your teeth.
Most orthodontic patients complain of discomfort during chewing. While some have sore teeth or sensitivity all over their mouth, the pain they feel may be directed towards just one tooth. This is usually an indication that your aligners are doing their job by gradually adjusting your teeth. With each aligner tray change, you may not feel pain in the same tooth, and any discomfort should go away within a few days.
How long does it last?
Patients complaining of tooth pain from orthodontic treatment like Invisalign said that the symptoms lasted 2 to 3 days following the new aligner installation.
Since Invisalign requires new trays every two weeks, it’s possible to experience mild pain and discomfort within the first few days of each cycle.
However, as you grow accustomed to wearing your aligners, these symptoms can become less pronounced.
When is pain or sensitivity a concern?
It’s possible to experience mild pain in the following areas of your body within the first week of wearing your new aligners:
However, the pain should not be severe or enough to interfere with your daily activities significantly. You should call your dentist right away if you experience:
- bleeding teeth or gums
- sensitivity to hot and cold beverages
- pain when eating, drinking, or swallowing food
- pain accompanied by facial swelling (caused by severe tooth decay)
If you experience pain for longer than a week after first using your aligners, this could indicate a more serious condition you should have your orthodontist check.
Teeth sensitivity remedies
While any sensitivity or pain from Invisalign tends to be mild and temporary, some people may find it’s too uncomfortable to let it run its course.
However, there are solutions if you’re extremely uncomfortable when wearing your Invisalign trays.
Try dental wax
If you’re experiencing gum pain from Invisalign, you may help alleviate it with the help of dental wax.
To do this, apply a small amount of wax to the top edges of your aligners, where these tend to be the roughest. Lubricating the edges can help reduce any friction causing your gum pain.
Take OTC medications
You may also consider taking over-the-counter (OTC) medications for pain relief during the first few days when pain is the most severe. Options include acetaminophen (Tylenol), ibuprofen (Advil), or aspirin.
However, be sure to ask your doctor if it’s safe for you to take OTC pain relievers, especially if you take other medications or have any underlying medical conditions.
Change how you eat
For pain that’s isolated to one tooth only, you can prevent placing more pressure in the area by avoiding eating on that side of your mouth. Continue until the pain gets starts to dissipate.
Keep your trays in
Finally, you should avoid taking out the aligners for an extended period unless otherwise recommended by your orthodontist. Invisalign is intended to be worn at least 22 hours a day.
While it’s tempting to take off your aligners if you’re in pain, doing so could decrease your overall pain tolerance to the trays.
How to prevent Invisalign sensitivity
It is important to practice good oral hygiene habits to prevent Invisalign tooth sensitivity. This means brushing your teeth at least twice a day and flossing at least once a day. In addition, you should avoid eating hard or crunchy foods and drink plenty of water throughout the day.
If you experience Invisalign pain or tooth sensitivity, there are a few things you can do to help ease the discomfort.
- Use a soft-bristled toothbrush and gentle circular motions when brushing your teeth. Do not brush your teeth vigorously.
- Avoid using whitening tubes of toothpaste or other abrasive products on your teeth.
- Rinse your mouth with warm water after eating or drinking acidic or sugary items.
- Steer clear of hot and cold temperatures.
- Swish some salt water around in your mouth for a few minutes if you feel discomfort.
- Talk to your orthodontist about using a desensitizing toothpaste or gel.
If the pain is too unbearable, take a break from Invisalign for a day or two until the pain subsides. In some cases, you may need to switch to a different type of Invisalign tray.
In general, Invisalign is a safe and effective way to straighten your teeth. Any dental appliance can cause pain and discomfort, including Invisalign, a popular brand name of clear alignment devices. However, expect that your sensitivity is less than what you may feel compared to traditional braces. Keep in mind that individual experiences vary, and any pain and discomfort with Invisalign is more likely within the first few days of your new trays you must swap out every two weeks. Contact your orthodontist if you experience ongoing or worsening pain while using Invisalign.