Do Clear Aligners Hurt?
Do Clear Aligners Hurt? It is one of the most commonly asked questions. The clear aligner is an orthodontic treatment, those familiar with traditional braces treatment understand the pain and discomfort it causes. It would be a lie if your doctor suggests it’s a painless treatment, as no orthodontic treatment is painless. Yes, the amount of discomfort can vary, but it is normal to experience slight aligner pain and it is a good thing in a way.
Clear aligner pain reduces over a period. The pain is an indicator that the aligner is working as planned, however, the pain/discomfort reduces after a few days of wear. Always remember it is not a constant pain. It may take some time to get accustomed to this treatment and the discomfort/ pain. As teeth move in the desired position or move in the desired direction you shall experience slight pain. This discomfort is temporary.
Yet, it is encountered not everyone feels the pain or discomfort due to aligners, as the treatment planned for every individual is different
Aligners are less painful than braces
- Metal present constantly in the mouth
- Metal impinge on the soft mucosa (lip/cheek) in the mouth
- No wire impinging- as the tooth moves into the wanted position or when the spaces are closing, slight wire moves out of the bracket of the last tooth causing pain/ulcers/ discomfort.
Are the aligners painful?
Aligners are less painful compared to the traditional orthodontic braces.
The pain fades away:
- Due to the loosening of the tray over the period.
- Tooth moved to the required position
- CAUSE OF PAIN
A slight pain in the first week of the aligner is normal, as the tooth is moving from one position to another in the bone. The pain is caused due to multiple reasons
- Tight trays
- Stretching fibres
- New bone formation
- Impinging aligner
- Chipped aligner
- Irritation due to aligner margin
The initial pain is usually causing the trays are too tight, as you continue wearing the aligner the pain fades. The pain usually exists for 2- 4 days of initial wear and most when you switch to the next one. You can tray the switch at the night time.
As the tooth moves to the new position (fibres of the gums and the underlying tissues) the pain is experienced as due to the stretching of the fibres. As the old fibres are break; new fibres form at the new position.
New bone formation
Tooth movement in the bone is a constant process. New bone forms around the tooth. There is a feeling of pressure which occur as the teeth move into a straighter direction to achieve that healthier, beautiful smile. Thus, this pressure is often confused as pain.
The tray has a margin which is normally smooth, however, sometimes it starts impinging after a few days of wear or as it is. This is a common occurrence in patients with multiple erupting teeth.
The aligner companies usually provide chewie and retriever to help seat and latter for the removal of the aligner. Sometimes when the patient is not trained properly to remove the aligner properly the aligner gets chipped thus start impinging causing ulceration.
Irritation due to aligner margin
Although an aligner is a custom-made appliance and it snuggly fits, the aligner margin causes irritation along the lip and cheek sometimes. A constant wear will help you get accustomed to the foreign feeling.
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7 Tips To Get Relief From Aligners Pain
- Use chewie
- Warm saline rinses
- Ice – cold soothing food
- Use wax for reliving
- New aligners at night
- Regular dental visit
- Medication, as per prescription.
Suggested Blog: What are clear aligners or invisible braces?
Suggested Blog: Role of Dentist/Orthodontist in Clear Aligners Treatment
They look like white silicone rolls, it is used to seat the aligners to get that tight fit. Using chewie 2 – 3 times a day for 10 – 15 minutes help relieve the pain.
Warm saline rinses
This is an age-old remedy to help relief orthodontic pain. Take lukewarm water to add a pinch of salt and rinse with it. Use this exercise 5 – 6 times a day. It not only help relieve pain but also help maintain good oral hygiene.
Ice – cold soothing food
Use ice cubes or frozen popsicles, make sure you remove the aligners while biting on them. The cold numbs the pain providing relief from the pain. If you are on a health mode, freeze your fruit to enjoy healthy fruity popsicle keeping your teeth healthy as well.
Use wax for reliving
You can put a small piece of wax between the aligner and your teeth specifically in the region you are feeling sore. The wax will provide a cushion between the teeth and aligner. However, keep the use o the minimal, as any barrier between teeth and aligner hinder the desired tooth movement and slow the process.
New aligners at night
Switching to the new aligner at night is helpful, as you’ll have the whole night to get used to the new feeling
Regular dental visit
I understand we choose this mode of treatments we wish to keep the dental visit to minimal. But your dentist can keep check of the progress and also, keep check if the cause of pain is not due to any other dental issue.
Medication, as per prescription.
Painkiller should be the last resort for pain relief. Take your medication as prescribed by your dentist.
Thus, to conclude NO PAIN NO GAIN. Remember a slight pain/ discomfort is a positive indicator that your aligners are working as planned.
Ask your dentist/orthodontist about Orthodontic Solutions for Clear Aligners Treatment.