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Does Invisalign® Hurt?

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Invisalign, a dental treatment known for its subtlety and convenience, can be an excellent alternative to traditional braces. This approach uses clear plastic aligners to gently push your teeth to a preferred position. With the help of your dentist, you can achieve a straighter, healthier smile, but many people wonder: Does Invisalign hurt?

Invisalign might cause temporary discomfort or sensitivity, but this is typically mild and goes away within a few days. While levels of discomfort vary from person to person, Invisalign is widely accepted as a convenient and comfortable alternative to braces—often with very little, if any, pain. 

What Is Invisalign?

Invisalign is a newer form of orthodontic dentistry designed to straighten your teeth and correct your alignment. This treatment uses a series of clear, custom-made aligners to gradually shift teeth into your desired position. 

Unlike traditional braces, Invisalign aligners are virtually invisible, and they can be easily removed for eating, brushing, and flossing. This makes them a popular choice for those looking for a discreet way to correct their teeth.

The aligners are designed to be worn for roughly 22 hours a day, and each aligner is worn for 1–2 weeks, depending on your unique plan. After a few weeks, you switch to a new aligner, which puts a different level of pressure on your teeth to continue shifting them to the desired position.

Every 6–8 weeks, you should return to your dentist. They can monitor your progress, make adjustments to your treatment if needed, and answer any questions you may have. 

Is Invisalign Painful?

Since realigning your bite does put pressure on your teeth, Invisalign may cause some level of irritation or discomfort while you’re getting used to each aligner. Some people experience mild discomfort, especially when adjusting to a new aligner. 

There are some factors that can contribute to how likely you are to experience some form of pain, including:

  • How sensitive your teeth are
  • Your individual pain tolerance
  • How healthy your gums and teeth are

However, 1 study found that most people noticed these sensations going away fairly quickly. Unlike traditional braces—which have metal brackets and small pieces that can scrape and irritate your mouth—Invisalign trays don’t have any pieces that can cause this kind of discomfort. This makes it a more comfortable alternative to traditional braces for many.

What Are Normal Sensations During Invisalign?

When you’re wearing your Invisalign trays, there are a few things to expect. Typically, you’ll feel some form of:

  • Pressure on the teeth
  • Tightness in the mouth
  • Temporary tenderness or sensitivity as you adjust to the trays

You may experience some temporary soreness when switching to the next tray in your set, as it’ll apply a different level of pressure than you’ve gotten used to. This typically goes away within a few days, if not sooner.

How Long Does Invisalign Take?

You may be wondering: Now that you know how it feels, how long does it take to fully finish your Invisalign treatment?

The timeframe for Invisalign treatment varies from person to person. The overall success of your treatment depends on a few variables:

  • The severity of your dental misalignment
  • Your commitment to daily wear
  • Your age
  • Whether or not you need to change the process mid-treatment for any reason 

The treatment duration also depends on the complexity of your unique case. On average, treatment ranges anywhere from 12–18 months, but some people may see results in as little as 6 months.

Properly Caring for Your Invisalign

Once you have Invisalign, caring for the trays is simple. There are some key things to remember:

  • Remove the trays when you’re eating and if you drink anything other than water.
  • Brush your teeth thoroughly before putting the aligners back in your mouth. This helps avoid the buildup of food particles underneath the aligners.
  • Rinse or clean the aligners before placing them in your mouth.
  • Brush and floss your teeth regularly to keep your teeth healthy.

When you get your Invisalign trays, your dentist will give you advice on properly cleaning the Invisalign trays to avoid bacterial buildup. Follow their advice, and your treatment should go smoothly!

A male dentist showing his female patient something on a tablet while she sits in the dental chair, both smiling

Where to Get Invisalign

If you’re considering Invisalign as a solution for your orthodontic dental concerns, your first step should be to visit your dentist. They can thoroughly examine your teeth during your appointment and take the initial scan of your teeth to begin planning your Invisalign treatment. At Heritage Pointe Dental, we know how important a bright and straight smile is to your well-being. Book an appointment with us and get started today.

Written by Dr. Michael Trac

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