Invisalign is a popular option you can use to straighten your teeth. This form of orthodontic treatment uses a series of clear plastic aligners to move your teeth into a new, straighter position little by little. Most people wear each set of clear aligners for two weeks before switching to a new set. This gradual change means your Invisalign treatment will be as comfortable as possible. Unfortunately, you may experience some tightness or pain as a natural result of any orthodontic treatment. Here are four techniques you can use to alleviate your discomfort while undergoing Invisalign treatment:
1. Treat your discomfort with ice.
Many doctors recommend treating sore muscles with ice, since the cold can have an analgesic effect on pain. You can treat your sore teeth this way as well. Sucking on ice cubes or drinking cold beverages can help your mouth feel better when it's sore due to orthodontic treatment. If you find that you feel pain on the outside of your mouth in the muscles of your jaw, placing a cold compress on the affected area can help. This remedy is most effective for people who don't suffer from unwanted cold sensitivity in their teeth.
2. Change your clear aligners strategically.
A new set of clear aligners will always feel tighter than the old set. For many people, this tightness increases their discomfort. Change your clear aligners strategically so you're wearing your new set at a time when you're less likely to notice the increase in discomfort. Some people prefer to change them at night so they can sleep through the first several hours of the adjustment period.
3. Wear your clear aligners as much as possible.
This may sound counterintuitive if your clear aligners are causing you pain, but wearing them as much as possible can help your teeth adjust faster. When you take your clear aligners off and leave them off for any length of time, your teeth begin trying to shift back to their original positions. This can prolong your discomfort and lead to worse outcomes overall. Ideally, you should wear your clear aligners whenever you aren't eating or cleaning your teeth.
4. Talk to your orthodontist.
In normal cases, the discomfort experienced while using clear aligners is mild to moderate. If you find that none of these remedies make you more comfortable, you should talk to your orthodontist. You may be able to slow down your Invisalign treatment by wearing each set of clear aligners for a longer period of time. This will make your overall treatment take longer, but some patients prefer this method, since it makes them more comfortable.