Easing New Aligner Discomfort

November 18, 2023

Filed under: Uncategorized — moultondentistry @ 12:25 am

Woman inserting upper clear alignerIf you’re ready to invest in a better smile with SureSmile, you’re making an excellent decision. Clear aligners provide many benefits not possible using traditional metal braces. Besides a discreet appearance, many patients report that SureSmile is more comfortable than brackets and wires. Unfortunately, no orthodontic treatment is completely pain free, but that’s a sign your treatment is working. Don’t worry, here’s how you can ease your discomfort after receiving your new aligners. 

Some Discomfort Is Normal

You don’t have to deal with brackets and wires pulling your teeth into place. Instead, you’ll wear a series of clear aligners over your teeth for at least 22 hours per day. Each aligner applies continual pressure to move your teeth in small increments. This involves loosening them from the ligaments and bones that keep them in place. 

It’s normal for your mouth to be tender for a few days after first wearing your aligners. You may also experience brief tenderness when switching to the next set of aligners in your series. The occurrence of discomfort will decrease as you progress through your treatment. 

Although you can expect some minor discomfort, you won’t have to deal with sores or irritation from brackets and wires. Your aligners will be smooth and sleek. Each tray will fit over your teeth like a glove, so you don’t have to worry about them slipping or moving around when talking.

How to Manage Aligner Discomfort

Don’t let a few days of minor discomfort stop you from fixing your bite and alignment. Here’s how to make the transition period as painless as possible:

  • Apply Cold Compresses: Apply a cold compress to your mouth to reduce inflammation and pain.
  • Take an OTC Pain Reliever: Tylenol can reduce pain. It’s a good idea to take an OTC pain reliever before switching to a new aligner to prevent discomfort.  
  • Eat Soft Foods: Eat soft foods that require minimal chewing for a few days. Cool foods, like yogurt and smoothies, can also reduce discomfort. Don’t forget to remove your aligners when having anything except water.
  • Rinse with Salt Water: Gargle with a salt water mixture to combat pain and inflammation. 
  • Make the Switch Before Bed: Your dentist will instruct you to change your aligners every 1-2 weeks, depending on your treatment plan. Switching to a new set before going to bed will allow you to sleep through the discomfort, especially if you take an OTC pain reliever. 

Your tenderness won’t last forever. In no time at all, you’ll forget you’re wearing your aligners while enjoying the improvement in your smile. 

About Dr. Marc Moulton

Dr. Moulton earned his dental degree at the University of Alabama at the Birmingham School of Dentistry and has regularly continued his education in various specialties to provide high-quality dentistry. He is a proud member of several professional organizations, including the American Dental Association. Request an appointment through his website or call (205) 619-2458.

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