Hi Dr. Kemal… I’m considering Invisalign but i really hate any mouth pain. If i bite my tongue or gt a tooth ache I can’t stand the pain at all. But, my teeth are a little crooked and I want to fix them up. I don’t think I want metal braces, because some friends told me they hurt their teeth. So does invisalign hurt and if so how much?
Nobody enjoys pain, and nobody should have to be afraid to get the orthodontic treatment they need and the smile they deserve. That’s why I want to clear up how Invisalign is different from traditional braces. If you’ve seen our Invisalign page, you know some of the benefits already.
One benefit we don’t often talk about is that, compared to traditional braces, Invisalign treatment is the ultimate in orthodontic comfort. The short answer to the question, “does Invisalign hurt?” is “not really”. A little bit more detailed answer might go like this:
Does Invisalign hurt more than braces?
All orthodontics, and that includes Invisalign, work by applying force to your teeth. What makes the Invisalign system great is that by combining computer-aided modeling of your teeth (which we do right here at MYsmile) with disposable, two-week plastic trays, that force is very gentle.
Traditional braces get tightened around every four to six weeks. Compared to Invisalign, that means more force needs to be applied in a single session to get the teeth to move to the next position, and there’s no computer-aided modelling to properly guide that force.
So if you’ve heard people complain that getting their braces adjusted hurt, don’t think that applies to Invisalign. You might experience some mild discomfort with every new tray as your teeth adjust to their new position, but no, Invisalign won’t hurt more than braces. In fact, it’s quite likely that you will feel much, much less, if anything at all.
Let’s take a look at the different parts of your mouth that will interact with your Invisalign trays. Those are your teeth, your jaw, and your soft tissue (your gums and tongue).
Does Invisalign hurt your teeth?
Invisalign uses gentle force to straighten your teeth. You might feel some very mild discomfort as your teeth adjust to their new aligners, but for most people this goes away very quickly.
If you’ve had traditional braces before, or know somebody who has, then there’s no comparison: Invisalign is a walk in the park.
Does Invisalign hurt your jaw?
The answer is, “it really depends”. This is one of the reasons we do a careful assessment before prescribing any treatment, including Invisalign. Invisalign in a person with an otherwise normal jaw shouldn’t feel anything in their jaw at all.
However, if you have a jaw disorder, it’s a bit different. Sometimes Invisalign will make your jaw better, sometimes it might not be right for you. For example, jaw pain caused by temporomandibular joint disorders—TMD, sometimes called TMJ—can see real, life-changing improvement with Invisalign treatment—but it could also get worse.
That’s why a consultation here at MYsmile is important. We’ll be able to diagnose whether Invisalign will help improve your TMD along with your bite or not.
Does Invisalign hurt your tongue or gums?
Gum pain can be anything from a mild irritant to severe pain. Thankfully, Invisalign is designed to not touch your gums at all. There’s no need for the trays to touch your gums to apply the gentle force needed to move your teeth to the right position.
Your tongue is also easy to irritate, especially if you’re like a lot of people who love to explore their mouths with their tongue, poking at your teeth or stray food—or new dental appliances, whether they’re retainers or Invisalign aligner trays.
Invisalign shouldn’t be touching your gums and shouldn’t hurt your tongue unless you “play with it,” but we understand that that desire can be hard to resist. If you find Invisalign is bothering your tongue or is for some reason touching your gums, let MYsmile know—we can file, round, and blunt the trays for you.
I hope that answers your question, Anonymous, and thanks for asking us!