La Habra/Chino Hills, CA – Clear aligner therapy (CAT) such as Spark or Invisalign has revolutionized the way we think about orthodontic treatment. You can achieve the beautiful smile you’ve always wanted discreetly with removable aligners made from smooth, clear plastic. The aligners are overall less irritating to your mouth than traditional brackets and wires, but does that mean the treatment is completely pain-free?
“Unfortunately, no orthodontic treatment is completely irritation free,” says Dr. Robert Gire, a Gold Plus Invisalign provider and certified Spark aligner specialist. “The process of moving teeth, no matter what method used to do it, will have some discomfort.”
Spark and Invisalign will offer a higher degree of comfort than traditional braces for most patients. Some people who opt for traditional braces feel irritation from the brackets and wires rubbing against the inside of the cheeks. Spark or Invisalign aligners won’t do that – and if for some reason there is a place on your aligners that feels rough, your orthodontist can buff that spot until it is smooth.
The aligners may cause some very minor soreness to some degree. It will take your mouth a bit of time to adjust to wearing the aligners and then every seven to ten days when you switch to a new set, your teeth will need to adjust again. Just like braces, they are moving teeth through bone so there may be times of slight soreness.
Your aligners need to put pressure on your teeth in order to move them to their desired locations. And with that, your mouth will most likely feel some soreness. You’ll feel it in the first few days after a new aligner set, but after that your mouth will adjust until you move to the next set. Most CAT patients don’t describe this sensation as pain, but rather as a mild discomfort.
If you experience a higher degree of discomfort there are some ways to relieve it. For some patients, especially those with higher pain tolerances, they can simply wait it out for a few days and things go back to normal. For others, a bit of relief may be necessary.
An over-the-counter pain medication such as Advil can be of help. Look for one that will reduce inflammation to offer the most help. If you are a tooth grinder you may find that a pain reliever that can help relax your muscles may offer the most help. Try to find the source of your discomfort to find the medication that will offer the most help.
Many patients find that using some pressure also helps to reduce their discomfort. There are special CAT chewies you can use. Hot or cold compresses can also provide additional relief. At Gire Orthodontics we have Accledent and Propel to assist in helping decrease or eliminate the discomfort.
“Spark or Invisalign treatment should only cause mild discomfort for most patients,” says Dr. Gire. “But the good news is this is only temporary. In no time you’ll be enjoying the beautiful new smile thanks to the work of your aligners.”
To learn more about Spark or Invisalign, call Dr. Gire’s office today at 562-690-1199 (La Habra) or 909-393-9911 (Chino Hills).