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Reducing Invisalign Discomfort

Danny O'Keefe D.D.S. Oct 30, 2018

Up close photo of woman wearing Invisalign® traysOur Jackson, MS dental team is pleased to offer Invisalign®, the popular alternative to traditional braces. Rather than using metal components, this system aligns the teeth over time using a series of clear, removable thermoplastic trays. This option has proven to be a success among many of our teen and adult patients.

As with any orthodontic treatment, patients can expect some degree of tenderness. Here, Dr. Danny O’Keefe offers a few recommendations for reducing Invisalign discomfort.

Invisalign: A Brief Review

During active Invisalign treatment, patients will trade out their current set of aligners for the next one in the series about every two weeks. Over time, the trays will move the teeth into their desired positions.

To be effective, Invisalign trays must be worn no less than 22 hours every day. This means they should be worn at all times unless patients are eating, drinking, brushing, or flossing.

Does Invisalign Hurt?

Any time the teeth move through orthodontic treatment, some pain and discomfort is likely to occur. Fortunately, these side effects are only temporary, and can be successfully addressed by adhering to a few guidelines.

Discomfort usually only occurs during the first few days of treatment, or for the first couple of days after a new set of aligners is introduced.

#1: Use Over-the-Counter Pain Relievers

Whenever you notice tenderness or dental pain from your aligners, try taking an over-the-counter pain reliever. Acetaminophen, naproxen, or ibuprofen can alleviate your discomfort and help you remain comfortable during the adjustment period.

#2: Eat a Soft-Food Diet

Invisalign treatment does not require any dietary restrictions. However, it never hurts to stick with soft foods when you change out your aligners. If you are experiencing discomfort, avoid crunchy and hard foods for a couple of days. As your comfort level improves, you can reintroduce your favorite foods once again.

#3: Switch to New Aligners at Bedtime

To reduce discomfort, try switching out your trays just before you go to bed at night. By doing so, you can sleep through the first few hours, when most of the tenderness occurs.

#4: Use Cold Compresses to Reduce Soreness

Cold compresses can effectively reduce soreness as well as any associated inflammation.

If your Invisalign trays are causing discomfort, apply a cold compress to your face near the affected area. Leave it on for about 10 minutes and repeat this process two to three times every day until tenderness diminishes.

You can also suck on an ice cube to help relieve soreness. Just be sure you remove your trays when doing so and remember to place them back in your mouth when you are finished.

#5: Wear Your Invisalign Trays Faithfully

If soreness develops after inserting your Invisalign trays, it can be tempting to remove them. However, the longer you go without your aligners, the more your teeth will shift back into their original positions. Therefore, it is important to wear your Invisalign trays as much as possible. If you experience pain, try one of the methods discussed above to alleviate your discomfort.

Contact Us to Learn More

Knowing what to expect during Invisalign treatment is essential for a successful, comfortable treatment. These simple guidelines can help you manage any discomfort you may experience so you can go back to enjoying life again. To learn more, contact us online or call us at (601) 936-2526.

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