Invisible aligners are custom-made to fit your mouth and teeth, but it is not uncommon to experience some discomfort from time to time. After all, the aligners are working to move your teeth and create a great smile. This natural process can sometimes lead to some slight discomfort for some people; for others, they may not experience any symptoms at all. For those who do, we have some great tips for you to help create a more comfortable experience while unlocking the potential in your smile. Below are a few easy tips to help make your invisible aligners more comfortable.
Ways To Make Teeth Aligners Comfortable
1. Switch The Teeth Aligners At Night
When starting treatment or switching to your next set of invisible aligners, put them in at night before going to bed. This will give your teeth time to adjust to this new position the aligners are shifting your teeth into. Your teeth will have the whole night to get used to this new feeling, and you’ll likely sleep through the discomfort- resulting in more comfortable aligners in the morning.
2. Chewies Makes Aligners Comfortable
Chewies are soft plastic aligner tray seaters that help close air bubbles between your invisible aligners and your teeth when biting pressure is applied. They help to improve the fit of your clear aligners and ensure they work properly and feel comfortable. Aligner chewies are necessary only if the invisible aligners aren’t fitting correctly, usually noticed when switching to a new set of trays.
Chewies are similar in shape and size to a cotton roll or pencil grip and are specifically designed and made for invisible aligner treatment to improve comfort and fit.
When you first put in a new set of invisible aligners, they might not fit perfectly initially. Maybe even causing you to say, “my retainer hurts.” But these aligner tray seaters will help work the invisible aligners into a better fit.
To use, just bite down on a Chewie for 5-10 minutes a day. Make sure to move the Chewie around to different areas of your mouth, especially anywhere you see or feel air bubbles. Experiencing air bubbles means the aligner isn’t snug against your teeth, but the aligner tray seaters will help.
Typically Chewies are used to adjust new aligner trays but feel free to use them as often as you’d like.
The ideal time to use Chewies is before bed; this will help to keep your invisible aligners snug all through the night.
To clean them, simply wash them in warm soapy water and reuse them until they lose their elasticity and shape. You can easily find Chewies online if you would like to purchase some.
3. Use An Emery Board
Sometimes your trays may feel a little rough, making your retainer hurt to wear. To make the invisible aligners more comfortable, they may need a bit of fine-tuning to their shape. You can use a brand new emery board to lightly file down any rough or sharp edges. If you notice any excess material on your clear aligners, just use a small pair of scissors to trim it off, and then use the emery board to adjust the new edge.
Sometimes rough edges can cause sores in your mouth called ulcers. Mouth ulcers can be uncomfortable and last for a week or two. To treat a mouth ulcer, make sure the area of the aligner that caused the ulcer is smoothed down with an emery board. Then you will want to rinse with a mixture of saltwater and baking soda. Also, placing milk of magnesia on the mouth ulcer is said to help. Worst case, there are some over-the-counter topical anesthetic products you can purchase. While the ulcer is healing, make sure to avoid foods or drinks that are acidic, hot, or spicy- those can irritate the ulcer and prolong healing.
4. Use Dental Wax
Dental wax can come in handy for particularly sore areas between your invisible aligners and teeth. Applying the wax is very easy; simply put a small wad of dental wax in the place that is bothering you. The wax will work as a cushion to your teeth, allowing you to get used to your clear aligners.
Helpful Tip: Apply the wax to dry aligners to ensure that the wax stays in place.
5. Eat Cold Foods
Cold temperatures help soothe a sore mouth, and what better way to make your mouth more comfortable than by enjoying a smoothie, popsicle, frozen fruit, or another delicious frozen snack. If you do give it a try, just make sure to remove your clear aligners before drinking or eating anything besides water.
If you’d like longer cooling relief but would prefer not to have a frozen treat, applying an ice pack or frozen washcloth to the outside of your mouth can have a similar soothing effect.
If you’ve tried all these tips and are still saying, “this retainer hurts my teeth,” you may want to consider taking an over the counter painkiller for a few days to ease any discomfort.
Whatever you do, make sure to keep wearing your invisible aligners and try to hang in there! Stopping for a day or two to give your teeth a break will only make it more challenging when you place them back in your mouth and prolong your treatment time.
If you have tried a few of these tips and are still having discomfort or if you’re experiencing significant pain, please contact UpSmiles right away. We can give additional recommendations specific to your treatment plan to help make your clear aligners easier to wear.
UpSmiles can also offer another solution to help reduce discomfort with the AcceleDent® Optima®. An FDA-cleared Vibratory Orthodontic Device that is clinically proven to speed up orthodontic treatment and reduce discomfort. AcceleDent® Optima® uses patented SoftPulse Technology® to send micropulse vibrations to the roots of your teeth and surrounding bone. These gentle vibrations help increase cellular activity, speed up your treatment time by up to 50%, and reduce orthodontic discomfort by 71%, which results in you getting out of your invisible aligners quicker and enjoying your straight teeth sooner!
No matter what, just remember that despite some brief discomfort, the results of your smile journey will be worth it!