Invisalign®: 5 Tips for Reducing Pain and Discomfort
By Kellyn Hodges on July 10, 2014
In order to assist a wide array of patients in the greater Philadelphia area, Dr. Kellyn Hodges uses the latest treatments and techniques available. These advances tend to stress convenience and effectiveness. Both of these reasons is why Dr. Hodges is pleased to offer Invisalign®, a bracketless, wireless, virtually invisible alternative to traditional braces. Patients receive new clear aligner trays every two weeks, gradually realigning the teeth along the dental arch and enhancing overall dental health in the process.
Of course, Invisalign® is not without side effects, and one side effect to consider is discomfort. We want to look into this issue right now and offer five tips on how to relieve soreness during Invisalign® treatment.
Is discomfort common during Invisalign® treatment?
A certain amount of discomfort is common with any sort of orthodontic treatment, and Invisalign® is no exception. Keep in mind that orthodontic care involves the shift in the position of your teeth, and this will necessarily entail some amount of discomfort.
With this in mind, research has suggested that one-third of Invisalign® patients experience no significant discomfort during treatment, while a little over half of Invisalign® patients experience just mild discomfort.
When is pain experienced most?
The pain that most patients experience while undergoing Invisalign® tends to be at the beginning of the treatment process with the first aligner and the first few days when a new aligner arrives.
How serious is soreness from Invisalign®?
Thankfully the soreness and discomfort from Invisalign® is rather manageable. This will depend on the degree of malocclusion a patient suffers from, of course. Most patients simply find the discomfort a nuisance, and it can make eating certain foods more difficult given how tender the teeth and gums feel.
Now, on to those five tips for managing Invisalign® pain.
Tip #1: Switch to New Aligners Before Bedtime
To help prevent some of the severe discomfort when you get new aligners, try switching out your old aligner for the new one just before bedtime. This will allow you to sleep through those first hours with the new aligner and not have to deal with the pain while awake.
Tip #2: Over-the-Counter Pain Relievers Are Helpful
If the soreness and tenderness take their toll on you, it's a good idea to consider using over-the-counter pain medication to help manage these matters. This is especially helpful in the first days with a new aligner.
Tip #3: Soft Foods for Sore Teeth
When the teeth are sore and gums are tender, try to avoid crispy, crunchy, and chewy foods. Instead, try softer foods that involve less chewing and are easier to eat. This will make a lot of that discomfort manageable.
Tip #4: Cold Compresses for That Discomfort
When the soreness is serious, the use of a cold compress can make a major difference. Be sure to use the cold compress outside of the mouth against your cheeks and lips, and to do this for around 10 minutes two to three times a day.
Sucking on ice cubes with the trays out can be helpful as well, but be sure to do this only once a day if you need to, because with that tip in mind...
Tips #5: Keep Your Invisalign® Aligners On
While it can be uncomfortable to leave the aligner trays on, it's important that you keep the Invisalign® trays on as much as possible as directed by your orthdontist. This will ensure successful orthodontic treatment and better dental health down the road.
Discuss Your Orthodontic Treatment Options
For more information about Invisalign® and if it's right for you and your needs, be sure to contact our orthodontic practice today. Dr. Kellyn Hodges looks forward to your visit and helping you have a smile that's straight, beautiful, and perfectly aligned.