Five Tips To Reduce Pain From Invisalign

Invisalign is an orthodontic treatment that uses clear plastic braces to straighten teeth and improve your smile.  It's a great alternative to metal braces that are not removable and can cause mouth sores and pain from wires and brackets.  Many people assume that because invisalign is plastic-based and removable, they will not experience any discomfort at all.  While patients with Invisalign do experience less pain, the teeth and gums do become sore from the shifting of the teeth.  Here are five tips to reduce the pain caused by Invisalign.

1. Switch to new aligners right before bedtime

Pain is the worst when you put the very first set of aligners on because your teeth are not used to being constrained.  Also, anytime you progress in your treatment and try a new set of aligners, you will experience some discomfort.  Try to switch your aligners at night so your teeth could get used to the aligners while you are sleeping and experience less pain by the time you wake up.  If possible, do not take the aligners out till lunch time the next day.  This will significantly lessen any pain and discomfort experienced because any time you take aligners out and put them back in, the pain renews.  Make a habit of not taking the aligners in and out without reason throughout your treatment.

2. Be gentle to your mouth

At the very beginning, you will be tempted to keep touching the aligners with your tongue. Don't do that.  Your tongue will become sore, scratchy and inflamed.  Also, try not to grind your teeth while wearing the aligners.  A lot of people grind their teeth to deal with the pain but this just makes your teeth and jaw more sore. 

3. Watch your diet

Chewing hard and crunchy food can exacerbate tooth pain so try eating soft foods for a few days after you switch to a new set of aligners.  Fish, soup, mushy vegetables, and smoothies are all great choices.

4. Use an ice pack

After putting in a new set of aligners, try using an ice pack on for 10 minutes and then off for 10 minutes.  Repeat this for an hour to reduce painful and swollen gums.

5. Take some medication

If you experience a significant amount of pain right after wearing a new set of aligners, take the over the counter pain reliever, acetaminophen.  Other common medications like ibuprofen and aspirin slow down tooth movement so it's best not to take them.  If pain is consistently unbearable, talk to your doctor about taking a longer time in between aligners for the teeth to properly adjust.

The longer you use Invisalign, the less pain you will experience.  It's important to let your teeth get used to wearing braces and use the above tips to minimize any discomfort.