Do aligners hurt?

Do clear aligners hurt?

Having mild pain or sore teeth during the course of wearing your clear aligners is completely normal. Think about how you feel after a good workout at the gym – a bit sore, but you also know that’s a positive thing because it means your muscles are working hard.

The same is true for your teeth. Mild pain or soreness for a few days is a sign that your aligners are working. They’re gently moving your teeth into your beautiful new smile.

A lot of people wonder if clear aligners hurt. “It is normal to feel slight pain when wearing aligners,” says Jeffrey Sulitzer, DMD, lead dentist at SmileDirectClub.

Not everyone feels pain or soreness during the process of straightening their teeth, and that’s normal, too. But if you do, try these easy at-home remedies to alleviate pain and continue living your best life.

1. Use your Movemints.

We include Movemints, which are mints, with your aligners to help you get a tighter fit. Once you have your aligners in your mouth, put a Movemint between your teeth and chew. You can do this several times per day until your aligners fit better and you’ll freshen your breath at the same time.

2. Apply dental wax.

If your clear aligners – sometimes called clear braces – feel painful against your teeth or gums, dental wax can help. Put a small wad of the wax between your aligners and your teeth in any areas that feel particularly sore. The wax will help cushion your teeth as you get used to your aligners.

If the pain doesn’t gradually dissipate after a few days of wearing your new aligners, give our Customer Care team a call at 800-688-4010.

3. Put your new aligners in at night.

When it’s time to switch to a new set of aligners, consider putting them in at night. You’ll have the whole night for your mouth to get used to the new fit and any pain you feel might be completely gone in the morning.

4. Continue regular dental check-ups.

We encourage all of our customers to continue visiting their regular dentists throughout their smile journey. Continue with dental cleanings and other treatments as necessary, as you usually would. You are also eligible for 90-day check-ins with our licensed dental professional to discuss how your smile plan is going.

5. Swish with warm salt water.

Salt can help soothe and heal mouth sores, according to The recipe: Add ½ teaspoon of salt to 1 cup of warm (not boiling!) water. Rinse the solution in your mouth and then spit it out. You can do this every 2 to 3 hours for 3 to 4 days. Keep brushing and flossing daily.

6. Choose cold food.

There’s nothing like the cool comfort of a cold ice pop or frozen fruit when your mouth feels tender. Just make sure to remove your aligners before you eat! Stick to a 100% real fruit Popsicle, keeping the sugar to a minimum and keeping your teeth healthy.

7. Take some OTC pain relief.

Take some Tylenol, or pain relief that you’re not allergic to, and continue to wear the aligners. Most pain should subside in 2 to 3 days after switching into new aligners, and the worst thing you can do is stop wearing them. Doing so makes it harder to put your aligners back in and means the pain will stick around longer.

8. Apply an ice pack.

An ice pack works wonders on soothing inflammation and pain around your mouth. According to Johns Hopkins Medicine, cold helps relieve pain by numbing the affected area. In addition, cold helps reduce swelling. If you don’t have a cold compress, you can dampen a towel with cold water, place it in a sealed bag in the freezer for 15 minutes, and then hold it on the outside of your mouth.

We’re sure you’ll agree: Once you see your amazing new smile, any minimal discomfort you might feel throughout the journey will be worth it.

Ready for a straighter, brighter smile? Get started today with our free 30-second Smile Assessment!

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