6 Proven Ways to Alleviate Your Invisalign Pain

October 10, 2023

Are you on a journey to achieving that picture-perfect smile with the help of Invisalign? While the road to straight teeth is indeed a promising one, it’s not uncommon to encounter a few bumps along the way, one of which could be the discomfort or pain associated with the aligners. The snug fit that helps shift your teeth to their desired positions can sometimes be a source of soreness, especially during the initial days or after a new set of aligners is introduced.

Worry not, as this is a hurdle many have crossed with a bit of patience and the right remedies. While the discomfort is a sign that your Invisalign is working as it should, there's no need to endure unnecessary pain. In this post, we’ll unravel seven tried-and-true methods to ease your Invisalign discomfort and make your journey to a flawless smile a more comfortable one.

How Long Until Invisalign Stops Hurting?

Embarking on the path to a straighter smile with Invisalign is akin to stepping into a new realm. It's thrilling and promising, yet comes with its share of discomfort, especially in the initial stages or whenever you switch to a new set of aligners. 

The pressing question on every Invisalign warrior's mind is, "How long will this discomfort last?"

One study from the Journal of Clinical Medicine found that Invisalign users experienced discomfort only during the initial 24 to 48 hours, growing accustomed to the aligners by the week's end​​.

However, there can be variations in the discomfort timeline, which stems from individual differences—our unique dental structures, the extent of realignment, and adherence to the prescribed usage of the aligners. 

Some users may experience 2 to 3 days of discomfort following the installation of a new aligner, and in some cases, it could span the duration of a week. But find solace in the fact that Invisalign pain is likely to bid goodbye in less than a week.

1. Use of Orthodontic Wax

A little discomfort is expected when you're on the path to perfecting your smile with Invisalign, especially in the early stages. One of the common irritants could be the edges of the aligners rubbing against the soft tissues of your mouth, causing sore spots or even minor abrasions. This is where the magic of orthodontic wax comes into play!

Orthodontic wax is a soft, moldable material that acts as a barrier between your aligners and the sensitive areas of your mouth. It's like giving your gums and cheeks a little cushion against the hard edges of the aligners. To use it, simply pinch off a small piece of the wax, roll it into a ball, and then flatten it over the irritating edge of your aligner. The warmth of your mouth will help mold the wax into place, providing a smoother surface and reducing the risk of irritation.

This simple yet effective solution can be a game changer in making your Invisalign experience a lot more comfortable. It's easy to apply, remove, and reapply as needed throughout the day. Additionally, orthodontic wax is easily available at drugstores or online, and it's a cost-effective way to deal with minor irritations that may arise during your treatment.

But that's not all; orthodontic wax is clear, so it won’t be visible when you’re wearing it. This means you can go about your day, talk to people, and flash your evolving smile without anyone noticing the wax.

2. Cold Compress

One classic and highly effective remedy to alleviate invisalign pain is the use of a cold compress.

A cold compress works by reducing blood flow to a particular area, which can significantly reduce inflammation and swelling that cause pain. When you experience soreness, simply place a cold compress to the outside of your face where the discomfort is localized. It’s a natural and immediate relief mechanism that can be incredibly soothing.

Here’s how you can do it:

  • Wrap a few ice cubes in a clean cloth or use a store-bought cold compress.
  • Hold the compress against the sore area of your mouth for about 10 to 20 minutes.
  • Repeat this process as needed throughout the day.

Besides being a quick fix, the cold compress is also a cost-effective solution. It’s a hassle-free remedy that requires minimal effort, yet provides significant relief. 

3. Avoid Certain Foods

One aspect often overlooked is the impact of certain foods on your comfort levels while wearing aligners. While Invisalign allows you the freedom to eat whatever you like -- thanks to removable aligners -- some foods can exacerbate the discomfort, especially during the initial days of a new set.

Here’s a list of foods and food-related practices you might want to steer clear of to mitigate any additional discomfort:

  • Hard or Crunchy Foods: Foods like nuts, hard candies, and some crunchy fruits and vegetables can apply additional pressure on your teeth, potentially causing more discomfort. Opting for softer foods, especially during the first few days of a new set, can be a wise choice.
  • Sticky or Chewy Foods: Sticky foods can be a nuisance as they may cling to your teeth and aligners, causing discomfort when removing your trays. It's advisable to avoid such foods or ensure you clean your teeth and aligners thoroughly after indulging.
  • Hot Beverages: While it’s essential to remove your aligners while consuming any liquids other than water, hot beverages can be particularly troublesome if forgotten as they can warp the shape of your aligners, leading to a less comfortable fit.
  • Chewing Ice: It might seem like a cool soothing solution, but chewing ice can apply undue pressure on your teeth and may exacerbate the discomfort.
  • Smoking and Drinking Alcohol: Besides the apparent health risks, these substances can cause discoloration and potential discomfort to your aligners and teeth.


Incorporating these dietary adjustments can be your ally in reducing the soreness and making your Invisalign journey more comfortable. After all, a little caution can go a long way in ensuring that your path to a perfect smile remains as pleasant and pain-free as possible!

4. Perform Salt Water Rinses

It's no secret that the path to a straighter smile with Invisalign is filled with excitement and anticipation. However, the discomfort and irritation that occasionally accompany the journey need not dampen your spirits. One age-old remedy that stands the test of time in alleviating oral discomfort is a simple salt water rinse. Not only is it cost-effective, but it's also incredibly easy to prepare and use.

Saltwater rinses act as a natural disinfectant, aiding in the healing process of any minor wounds or cuts in your mouth that may be caused by the edges of the aligners. The rinse can also soothe inflamed gums and promote faster healing.

Here’s how you can prepare and use a salt water rinse:

  1. Preparation: Mix one-half to one teaspoon of salt in a glass of warm water until dissolved. Ensure the water is not too hot to avoid further irritation.
  2. Usage: Swish the solution around your mouth for about 30 seconds, ensuring it reaches all corners of your gums and teeth, then spit it out.
  3. Frequency: You can perform salt water rinses several times a day, especially after meals to keep your mouth clean and soothe any irritation.

The beauty of a saltwater rinse lies in its simplicity and effectiveness. It's a gentle remedy that can significantly improve your comfort levels during your Invisalign treatment. Plus, the ingredients are likely already in your kitchen, making it a convenient option.

Incorporating salt water rinses into your daily routine, especially during the first few days of wearing a new set of aligners, can be a comforting ritual. It's a small step that can make a big difference in how you experience your journey towards a captivating smile.

5. Practice Good Oral Hygiene

Maintaining a sparkling clean oral environment is not just crucial for your overall dental health, but it's a significant player in minimizing the discomfort associated with Invisalign treatment.

When food particles get trapped between your teeth and aligners, they can create a breeding ground for bacteria, leading to gum disease or tooth decay. Both conditions can exacerbate the discomfort you feel. Regular brushing and flossing can keep these issues at bay.

Moreover, dirty aligners can cause irritation and discomfort. It's essential to clean your aligners as per the instructions from your orthodontist, usually with lukewarm water and a clear, unscented, antibacterial soap, to keep them fresh and comfortable to wear.

Reduced Inflammation:

A clean mouth is less likely to have inflamed gums. Inflammation can add to the discomfort experienced with Invisalign, so keeping your gums healthy through good oral hygiene can 

Here’s a simple routine to follow:

  • Brushing: Brush your teeth gently yet thoroughly every morning, evening, and after meals before putting your aligners back in.
  • Flossing: Floss at least once a day to remove food particles and plaque from between your teeth.
  • Aligner Cleaning: Clean your aligners every morning and evening, or as directed by your orthodontist.

6. Regular Check-ups with Your Orthodontist

While the clear aligners do the heavy lifting in repositioning your teeth, regular check-ups with your orthodontist are crucial to ensure that everything is progressing as it should. Moreover, these visits provide the perfect opportunity to address any discomfort or pain you might be experiencing.

Here’s why these regular consultations are a cornerstone of a comfortable and successful Invisalign treatment:

  • Personalized Adjustments: Every mouth is unique, and so is every Invisalign treatment plan. Your orthodontist can make necessary adjustments to your aligners to ensure they fit perfectly and minimize any discomfort.
  • Professional Advice: Your orthodontist is the best person to provide tailored advice on managing any pain or discomfort. They can suggest specific remedies or adjustments based on your individual circumstances and the progress of your treatment.
  • Monitoring Progress: Regular check-ups allow your orthodontist to monitor the movement of your teeth and ensure they are aligning as planned. If there's any deviation from the plan, timely interventions can be made.
  • Maintaining Motivation: Seeing the progress and having a professional affirm that you're on the right track can be incredibly motivating. It reassures you that the temporary discomfort is worth the lasting results.
  • Identifying Potential Issues: Early identification of any issues, like aligners not fitting properly or unexpected tooth movements, can save you from extended discomfort and potentially longer treatment time.
  • Here’s a tip: Before heading to your appointment, jot down any questions or concerns you have regarding your treatment, especially about managing discomfort. Being prepared will help you make the most out of your visit.

Final Word

Your journey to a flawless smile, free from discomfort, is not a solo expedition. It’s a collaborative venture with a seasoned guide - your orthodontist. While the initial discomfort with Invisalign is a common part of the teeth-straightening journey, knowing that relief is near and that professional guidance is readily available can make the process much more comfortable and encouraging.

At Bruno Ortho, we are dedicated to making your path to a perfect smile as smooth and comfortable as possible. We are always on hand to address any concerns, alleviate any discomfort, and ensure your treatment is progressing as planned. Your comfort and satisfaction are our priorities, and we strive to provide personalized solutions to make your Invisalign experience a pleasant one.

Don't let the transient discomfort deter you from continuing on the path towards a captivating smile. Schedule your next visit with Bruno Ortho to ensure your treatment is on track and to address any discomfort you may be experiencing. Our team is here to provide the support and expertise you need at every step of your Invisalign journey.


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