Invisalign Pain: Causes & Relief


Invisalign is a relatively invisible alternative to traditional orthodontic braces, and is turning into a more and more popular option. Aside from being cosmetically pleasing, Invisalign is considered easier to manage than braces because there are no restrictions on the types of food that can be eaten during realignment, all for a price comparable to traditional wire braces. The primary downside, though, is that Invisalign does cause some pain and discomfort for a short period after each new set of trays is fitted. Luckily, there are a few simple things that can help ease the pain until the teeth realign to the limits of the new trays.

The most common complaint is that Invisalign hurts when the trays are removed for meals. Teeth that have been forced into a new position by the tray tend to try to settle back into their old positions, causing quite a bit of pain for the first few minutes. Anyone who has difficulty eating because of this pain should wait for about 15 minutes after removing the trays before they try to eat. In addition, softer food that is easy to chew will help limit the amount of pain during meals since less force is applied to the teeth.

What Causes Invisalign Pain

There are a few normal causes that can lead to this discomfort, here are three common causes as below:

  1. Discomfort due to aligners in and out while eating.
  2. Fit in an incorrect way that can cause irritation around and in your mouth, ask your dentist to adjust the aligners.
  3. Some patients will experience the pain whenever they switch their aligners, the Invisalign pain will last some time from hours to days.

How to Deal With Invisalign Pain

In the first few days after a new set of Invisalign trays is fitted, it’s not unusual to feel pain or discomfort most of the time, especially in the first few hours after they’re put in. For this reason, it’s generally advisable to wait to put the tray in until bedtime, allowing the teeth to begin their alignment during sleeping hours.

Some people have to have teeth drilled or removed to make room for the alignment process, and these can leave the teeth quite sensitive. Extracted teeth are said to be especially painful as the teeth attempt to realign around a raw wound. In these cases, wait a few days to let the injuries heal before putting the trays in.

If you are not experiencing any tooth sensitivity, sucking on ice cubes can sometimes help numb the mouth during periods of the worst pain, such as directly after meals when the trays are put back in. Alternatively, ask your dentist whether tooth and gum numbing products would be acceptable to use in your case, as these can effectively relieve a lot of temporary oral pain complaints.

Finally, over-the-counter pain relievers are often effective in relieving a lot of the aches and pains associated with realignment. Dentists typically recommend NSAIDs such as Ibuprofen, Aspirin, or Extra-Strength Tylenol. Bear in mind that in cases where teeth have been extracted or gums have a tendency to bleed, the anticoagulant properties of Aspirin may not be ideal.