If you’re one of the millions of people who are using Invisalign to straighten your teeth, there’s a good chance that you’ve experienced some irritation of your gums. This is a common side effect of wearing Invisalign, but don’t worry – there are plenty of things that you can do to reduce the irritation and make your treatment more comfortable! In this article, We can give you some tips on dealing with it. So if you’re experiencing any discomfort, read on for advice.
What is Invisalign?
Invisalign is a type of orthodontic treatment that uses a series of clear, plastic aligners to straighten your teeth. Invisalign is popular because it’s discreet – the aligners are virtually invisible, so you can wear them without anyone knowing that you’re undergoing treatment. In addition, Invisalign doesn’t require any metal braces or wires, so it’s comfortable to wear, and it shouldn’t irritate your gums as traditional metal braces can.
Even though Invisalign is generally very well tolerated, some people experience irritation of their gums and mouth. This is usually caused by the way that the aligners fit against your teeth – they can put pressure on the gum tissue and cause inflammation. If this happens to you, don’t worry – there are a few things you can do to ease the irritation.
What causes gum irritation with Invisalign?
Invisalign pain is not uncommon, and discomfort can occur with a new set of aligners. If you feel discomfort, don’t panic. Several factors can contribute to gum irritation with Invisalign aligners. Some of the most common include:
- The way that the aligners fit against your teeth: they may be putting pressure on your gums as your teeth adjust. Especially when you switch to a new set of aligners, irritation could be a side effect initially.
- The type of material that the aligners are made from: some people find that plastic irritates their gums, or it may have sharp edges that are pressing into your gum line.
- The shape of the aligners: they may be rubbing against your gums, which can cause inflammation and soreness if they fit snugly against your mouth.
How to Avoid Pain and Discomfort While Wearing Invisalign
There are a few ways to your avoid Invisalign pain and discomfort.
- Try mild pain relievers. Over-the-counter medications can help reduce swelling and mild discomfort. If pain persists or you’re experiencing more severe pain, contact your orthodontist and have them do a check-up.
- Switch to new aligners overnight. Try switching to a new set of clear aligners when you go to bed at night. Aligner trays are meant to be worn as you sleep. Overnight wear can help your mouth adjust to a new aligner tray.
- Drink a hot drink (make sure to remove your aligners first). A warm drink can sometimes help reduce pain and soothe your irritated gums. Remember to always take your Invisalign aligners out before drinking anything, unless it’s cool water.
Ways Alleviate Pain and Irritation
If you’re experiencing pain or discomfort from a set of aligners, there are some actions you can take to help.
Cold Compress or Ice Cubes
Grab an ice pack and gently place it on the area where you are experiencing pain. Try to only let the ice pack sit on the affected area for 20 minutes, then remove for about 20 minutes before reapplying. You can also suck on ice cubes which will essentially provide the same effect. You can buy cold compresses at your local general store or pharmacy.
This over-the-counter numbing agent can help relieve gum pain. Apply it to the irritated area with a cotton swab and hold it in place for a minute or two. Do not apply Orajel more than three times a day. You can try any topical anesthetic containing benzocaine, which helps numb the area.
Trim Sharp Edges
Invisalign aligners are designed with scalloped edges to improve comfort. Sometimes those edges can be rough, sharp, and uncomfortable and cause some swelling or redness. This is an easy fix. Using nail clippers or cuticle scissors, clip away small pieces of the edges. Keep clipping until it feels comfortable in your mouth again.
Invisalign chewies are designed to help the fit of your clear aligners. They can also double as an agent to help relieve any Invisalign pain or discomfort.
If your Invisalign is irritating a particular tooth, you can apply some orthodontic wax to the area. The wax will help protect the irritated tooth from the pressure of the aligner tray.
Avoid Hard or Crunchy Foods
When you’re experiencing any pain, it’s best to avoid eating hard or crunchy foods. Hard foods can put pressure on your teeth and gums, which will only aggravate the situation. Stick to soft foods like fruits, steamed vegetables, mashed potatoes, soups, applesauce, or jello for a few days until the pain subsides.
If you have tried these methods and still experience pain or notice mouth sores, contact your orthodontist and schedule a visit. They can get a new set of aligners or take a closer look to see what the problem is.
Who can help me if Invisalign irritation continues?
If you’re just beginning your Invisalign journey and unsure what to do if they are causing discomfort and pain, always contact your dentist. Compared to traditional braces, pain and discomfort aren’t nearly as common, but it does happen. Your orthodontist can help make sure you’re teeth are aligning the way they are supposed to and give you instructions on care for your aligners and teeth during use.
Interested in learning more about how an Invisalign treatment can straighten your teeth? DNA Dental in Dallas, TX, is ready to help. Call today for a free consultation and see if Invisalign treatment is right for you or click here to schedule an appointment with our dentist.