Understanding Invisalign Pain: What to Expect and How to Manage

If you’re worried about experiencing Invisalign pain, this article explains what to expect and how to manage it.

May 22, 2023

Sore gums. Crooked teeth. These are a few reasons you might consider Invisalign as a solution to your dental concerns. 

As a relatively new technology, Invisalign has quickly grown in popularity due to its ability to straighten teeth with minimal visibility and discomfort. However, although Invisalign is less invasive than traditional braces, patients can still experience Invisalign discomfort

This article will discuss what you can expect from Invisalign pain and provide tips on managing it.


What Causes Invisalign Pain?

Invisalign is a popular form of orthodontic treatment that uses clear aligners to straighten teeth. While Invisalign is generally less painful than traditional braces, many patients still feel discomfort during treatment.

The good news is that any Invisalign discomfort is usually very mild and only lasts for a short period. The aligners are designed to shift your teeth into place gradually, meaning each new set of aligners will feel tight and uncomfortable for the first few days until your teeth adjust.

Additionally, patients may experience discomfort due to pressure on their gums and teeth. Sometimes, the aligners may rub against the gums, causing irritation or soreness. It's also not uncommon for patients to experience headaches or jaw pain as their teeth adjust to the new positions.


Tips for Managing Invisalign Pain

While Invisalign pain is generally manageable, there are a few things you can do to make the process more comfortable:


Take pain relievers

Over-the-counter pain relievers like ibuprofen or acetaminophen can help alleviate the discomfort associated with Invisalign pain. However, follow the recommended dosage and consult your dentist or doctor before taking any medications.


Use orthodontic wax

If your aligners are rubbing against your gums or causing irritation, try using orthodontic wax to create a barrier between the aligners and your mouth. Your dentist can provide you with this wax and instruct you on how to use it.


Stick to a soft food diet

During the first few days of wearing a new set of aligners, it's recommended that you stick to a soft food diet to avoid additional discomfort. Foods like yogurt, soup, and smoothies are easy to consume without putting too much pressure on your teeth.


Practice good oral hygiene

Keeping your mouth clean is vital during Invisalign treatment to help prevent gum irritation and soreness. Be sure to brush and floss regularly to keep your teeth and aligners clean.


Practice relaxation techniques

Patients may sometimes experience stress or anxiety related to the discomfort associated with Invisalign treatment. Practicing relaxation techniques such as deep breathing or meditation can help alleviate these feelings and make the process more manageable.


How bad does Invisalign hurt?

Invisalign pain is generally mild and often described as discomfort or pressure. The level of pain experienced can vary from person to person. Still, most patients report that any pain associated with Invisalign is manageable and typically only lasts a few days after receiving a new set of aligners. 

If you experience severe pain or discomfort that lasts for an extended period, speak with your dentist or orthodontist. They can examine your teeth and adjust them to alleviate pain or discomfort.


Why does Invisalign treatment cause pain?

The Invisalign treatment causes pain because the aligners are designed to shift your teeth into place gradually. This means each new set of aligners will feel tight and uncomfortable for the first few days until your teeth adjust. 

Additionally, the pressure on your gums and teeth can cause discomfort, including headaches or jaw pain, as your teeth adjust to the new positions. However, the pain associated with Invisalign is generally mild and only lasts briefly.


How to Minimize Invisalign Pain

Here are some additional ways to manage Invisalign pain and minimize discomfort during the treatment process:


Speak to your dentist

Contact your dentist or orthodontist for advice if you experience severe or prolonged pain or discomfort. They can examine your teeth and make necessary adjustments to prevent further discomfort.


Stay hydrated

Drinking plenty of water can help keep your mouth lubricated and reduce the likelihood of gum irritation or soreness.


Clean your aligners

Clean your aligners regularly with lukewarm water to remove bacteria and avoid foul odors. Avoid using hot water or toothpaste, which can scratch or damage the aligners.


Change them out gradually

Change your aligners gradually without rushing the process. Changing the aligners frequently or quickly can cause additional discomfort, increasing soreness or pain.


Gargle salt water

A saltwater gargle can help reduce gum inflammation and prevent soreness or irritation.


Exercises to reduce jaw pain

Some exercises, such as jaw stretching, neck rolls, or gentle massages, can help alleviate jaw pain or headaches.


How long does Invisalign pain last?

Invisalign pain is usually mild and lasts a few days as the teeth adjust to the new position. The discomfort will eventually subside once the teeth have settled into the new alignment.

While the pain intensity may differ from patient to patient, the duration is relatively short-lived. Nevertheless, any severe or prolonged pain should be brought to your dentist's attention for appropriate action.



Invisalign pain is an inevitable aspect of the treatment process, but it is generally mild and manageable. However, as your teeth adjust to the new position with each set of aligners, some discomfort may be alleviated by following the tips mentioned in this article.

To minimize Invisalign pain, maintain good oral hygiene, seek specialist advice, practice jaw exercises, and stay hydrated. Additionally, avoid rushing the process and change aligners gradually to allow the teeth to adjust comfortably.

If you are considering Invisalign treatment, speak to your dentist about the treatment process and any potential discomforts. Remember, the result of a confident and healthy smile is worth the short-lived pain. 

When you’re ready to take the deep dive into Invisalign treatment, schedule your smile assessment with Sharp Orthodontics.

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1524 E Bradford Pkwy, Springfield, MO 65804

(417) 337-8020

203-C Buccaneer Blvd. Branson, MO 65616

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