Is Invisalign Painful?

By Rafael Mercado, DDS on July 14, 2022

Invisalign® transforms the smile, creating beautifully straight teeth without the use of traditional metal braces. Instead, Invisalign uses clear aligners that fit snugly over the teeth to gradually reposition the teeth and enhance the smile. 

Many people find Invisalign more comfortable than traditional braces but may still experience some pain during treatment. Dr. Rafael Mercado explains what to expect with Invisalign pain to patients at his Castle Hills, TX, practice. We welcome you to schedule a consultation to discuss your concerns. In the meantime, let’s take a closer look at Invisalign pain and ways to alleviate discomfort. 

Is Invisalign Painful Throughout Treatment? 

Invisalign treatment physically shifts the position of the teeth. Although this transition is slow, it can cause pain during treatment. 

Most patients find the pain from Invisalign treatment greatest when changing to a new aligner, which occurs about every two weeks. As the teeth adjust to each new aligner, patients may find they feel slight discomfort or soreness of the mouth. 

It’s common for discomfort to improve a few days after switching aligners but some people may feel varying levels of discomfort throughout treatment.  

How Does Pain Compare to Traditional Metal Braces?

Most patients find orthodontic treatment with Invisalign far less painful than with traditional metal braces. 

Unlike metal braces that may cut and irritate the inside of the lips, Invisalign aligners are smooth and less likely to irritate the skin. 

Invisalign aligners may also be removed while eating and to brush and floss the teeth. Although this only accounts for an hour or two of the day, it can provide some relief not available to those with traditional braces. However, aligners must be worn for 22 hours a day and frequent removal sometimes increases discomfort.   

Tips to Alleviate Invisalign Pain

Any pain experienced during Invisalign is often easily managed. Some ways our Castle Hills patients can relieve pain during treatment include:

  • Applying ice packs: Applying ice packs to the jaws can help reduce inflammation that can cause discomfort during treatment and alleviate pain.
  • Drink ice water: Drinking ice water can also help soothe Invisalign pain and provide some relief. 
  • Use over-the-counter pain medication: Over-the-counter pain medications, such as ibuprofen, can help manage pain when used as directed. Some patients find it helpful to take pain medication before changing aligners to help stay ahead of pain.  
  • Avoid eating hard foods: Hard foods can make any discomfort greater so it’s best to avoid eating hard foods, like nuts or corn chips, when feeling pain from Invisalign. 
  • Change aligners before bed: It’s often helpful to change to new aligners before bed. This way patients sleep while their teeth have several hours to adjust to the new aligners.  
  • Apply a topical oral pain reliever: Applying a topical oral pain reliever, like Orajel, on the gums or inside the mouth can also help relieve pain.   

Schedule an Appointment

Invisalign is a discreet orthodontic treatment that dramatically improves the appearance of the smile. For more information about Invisalign treatment or to find out if it’s right for you, call our Castle Hills practice at (210) 405-1257 to  schedule an appointment