Does Invisalign Hurt? What You Need to Know Before Making Your Decision

Updated on March 17, 2023

Are you considering getting Invisalign but worried about the pain? Don’t let fear stop you from achieving the smile of your dreams. Invisalign is a revolutionary orthodontic treatment that uses clear, removable aligners to straighten your teeth without the need for metal brackets and wires.

While some people may experience slight discomfort during treatment, these invisible braces are generally considered a much less painful experience than traditional braces. So if you’re wondering, “does Invisalign hurt?” – rest assured that the answer is usually no. With proper care and maintenance, Invisalign can give you the smile you’ve always wanted with minimal discomfort.

Invisalign is generally considered a much less painful experience than traditional braces, with most people experiencing minimal discomfort.
Invisalign is usually not painful for most people

What Causes Invisalign Pain

Invisalign pain is usually caused by the aligners being too tight or not fitted properly. This can lead to persistent headaches, jaw joint discomfort, and soreness in your teeth as they are being moved into the correct position. Poorly fitted aligners can also cause gum irritation and cause a poor fit of the appliance, resulting in poor results for the treatment. It’s important to follow your orthodontist’s instructions closely when it comes to wearing Invisalign, as an improperly fitted appliance can lead to discomfort and setbacks in your treatment plan.

Improper cleaning of Invisalign appliances can also lead to pain and irritation. Aligners should be cleaned with denture cleaner or mild dishwashing soap and water each day. If you don’t clean your aligners regularly, bacteria will build up on them leading to bad breath, redness, or swelling of gums, as well as possible plaque buildup between your teeth and aligner which can result in further discomfort or pain. It’s important to practice good oral hygiene during Invisalign treatment, so you don’t experience any unnecessary pain or inconvenience from your appliance.

How Long Does Invisalign Hurt?

A recent study indicated that 54% of respondents noticed some mild pain or discomfort during the first week of Invisalign treatment, whereas about 35% reported experiencing no pain. To accommodate the treatment, new aligner trays will be needed every two weeks. Users may experience slight discomfort and pain during this time, though it should reduce as the user gets accustomed to wearing the Invisalign.

Common Kinds of Invisalign Pain

Pressure indicates that the aligners are doing their job.

Feeling some degree of pressure when wearing aligners is normal and expected as this is what helps them to shift the teeth into their desired position. Aligners such as Invisalign use slight pressure to realign the teeth.

Tooth Movement and Aligner Fit

Around half of the people who use aligners may experience some discomfort, including tenderness or pressure. These feelings usually occur when putting on or taking off the aligners for meals or cleaning.

Oral Irritation of the Tongue and Gums

Aligners may have edges that come into contact with the cheek, tongue, floor of the mouth, or gums. This can cause irritation if left unchecked.

Studies have found that most aligner patients do not encounter irritation. Invisalign is reported to be less irritating than traditional braces and brackets. If you feel irritation, we advise not adjusting the edges yourself and instead seeking advice from your orthodontist to determine if any adjustments are appropriate for your aligners and mouth.

When reducing the offending edge, it is important to be careful not to compromise how the aligners fit over the teeth and their ability to perform the necessary tooth movements. If any damage to an aligner occurs, a new one will have to be made. This could delay your entire treatment time. Attempting this process on your own is not recommended.

When is the Invisalign pain a concern?

During the first week of using aligners, users may feel moderate discomfort in their teeth, jaw, or tongue. It should not be severe or cause disruption to everyday activities.

You should call your dentist right away if you experience:

  • Pain related to ingestion of food or drinks (discomfort during chewing)
  • Bleeding of the teeth and gum pain.
  • There is intense pain with facial swelling.
  • Hot or cold sensitivity
If your discomfort becomes severe or prevents you from performing daily activities, you should call your dentist for a revision.
During the first week of using invisible aligners, users may feel mild discomfort in their teeth, jaw, or tongue.

Tips to Reduce the Risk and Severity of Pain from Invisalign Treatment

  1. Follow your orthodontist’s instructions for wearing your aligners, including the number of hours per day and proper cleaning techniques.
  2. Use a soft toothbrush for brushing and flossing to avoid irritation to the gums.
  3. Take regular breaks from wearing your aligners to give your mouth a break from the constant feeling of pressure.
  4. Wear a nightguard while sleeping if you experience jaw joint discomfort or headaches that interfere with your sleep.
  5. Take counter-pain medications (pain killers) such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen to relieve any soreness or tenderness in your teeth or gums caused by Invisalign treatment.
  6. Apply cold packs to reduce inflammation in the jaw joints when experiencing TMJ discomfort due to Invisalign treatment.
  7. Visit your orthodontist regularly for adjustments to ensure the proper fit of the appliance and good progress with your aligner treatment plan goals
  8. Avoid eating and drinking anything other than water while wearing your aligners to reduce the risk of irritation or damage to the appliance.
  9. Be sure to use the “chewies” provided by your orthodontist to ensure that the aligners are properly fitting over teeth and gums.
  10. Apply a desensitizing toothpaste before putting it in your aligners to help reduce any sensitivity caused by Invisalign treatment.

Ready to get started with Invisalign?

Invisalign may lead to some temporary discomfort, but the improved smile is worth it. Note that any discomfort is for a beneficial outcome.

If you choose Invisalign over traditional metal braces, you’ll be able to get straighter teeth and a gorgeous smile faster than if you had worn traditional braces.

Do you want to know more about starting your Invisalign treatments? Have you already decided that you’d like to begin them as soon as possible? If you are looking for Invisalign in Miami, the friendly and professional Dr. John Paul Gallardo will be happy to guide you through the process and get your treatment started.

The Editorial Team at Healthcare Business Today is made up of skilled healthcare writers and experts, led by our managing editor, Daniel Casciato, who has over 25 years of experience in healthcare writing. Since 1998, we have produced compelling and informative content for numerous publications, establishing ourselves as a trusted resource for health and wellness information. We offer readers access to fresh health, medicine, science, and technology developments and the latest in patient news, emphasizing how these developments affect our lives.