Are aligners painful?

Are aligners painful? This is a very common question among people considering orthodontic treatment with clear aligners. The idea of straightening your teeth without metal braces sounds appealing, but some people worry about the pain they may have to endure during the procedure.
Let us find out What Clear Aligners are. Are Aligners painful? How long does the aligner pain last?

How Painful are Aligners?

The pain from the Invisalign aligner is described as your teeth getting sensitive to touch or bite, and you feel some pressure along the teeth. You should be mindful of what you eat for the first few days. It is best to avoid hard or crunchy food and allow the pain to subside on its own.

Why are Aligners Painful?

There are three types of pain you experience from Invisalign. They are as follows:

Pressure on teeth when you move them

When you wear an aligner, it puts pressure on your teeth to move them in the desired position. Throughout the Aligner treatment, you will have to wear a series of clear aligners, one after the other, to move your teeth further toward the goal. When you wear a fresh set of aligners, your teeth may feel some pain, but it will go away with time. The pain occurs due to pressure exerted by the clear aligners.

Initial Adjustments

Are Aligners painful? During the initial phase? Yes, there may be some discomfort during the initial phase as your gums and the inside of your cheeks and gums take a week or two to get used to new aligners.   Discomfort can arise when the edge of the aligner rubs against your inside cheek. Orthodontic wax can easily alleviate this. Once the mouth has developed callouses and tough tissues, rubbing will not cause irritation.

Rough or Sharp edges

You may sometimes receive a rough or sharp-edged aligner. You can call the Invisalign provider to address the problem. They will ask you to come in and clip down the part of the invisalign.

How do manage pain from Invisalign?

Here are some essential tips for managing Invisalign discomfort.

Wear your Aligners as Suggested

  • Wear a new set of Aligners for at least 20–22 hours a day
  • Get a new set of Aligners when it is time
  • Attend your regular checkups

Start wearing New Aligners before you go to bed

When you wear a new set of aligners, you feel the most pressure for the first few hours. Therefore, it is best to wear new aligners before you go to bed so that you have 8 hours to adjust while you sleep peacefully.

Do not use hot water to clean your Aligners

If you use hot water on your aligners, it can warp and damage them. Instead, clean the aligners using cold or normal tap water.

Do not eat hard or crunchy food

Eat a soft food diet when you get a new set of aligners.

Drink Cold Water or Have Ice cubes

You can drink cold water or suck ice cubes but remember not to chew on ice cubes.

Apply cold press

Take an ice pack, wrap it in a cloth, and place it on the areas where there is discomfort for 20 minutes. This is a famous technique for reducing swelling and pain.


Chew on products specially made for Invisalign, such as Chewies or Movemints.

Use Orthodontic Wax

If the aligners irritate your gums, lips, or cheeks, apply the orthodontic wax for relief.

Having Painkillers

Over-the-counter painkillers like Tylenol, Advil, and Aspirin are available to ease the discomfort caused by aligners.

Choose an Invisalign provider with iTero Scanner

Choose an Invisalign provider who takes 3D digital impressions, which are more accurate than physical putty impressions. This will ensure that the aligner is a perfect fit.


Are Aligners Painful? The aligners may cause some discomfort initially, but it is temporary and manageable. By following proper instructions from your dentist, you can maximize the benefits of your aligner treatment. Talking to your dentists and discussing the problem can help reduce the pain.

Ready to start your journey to a straighter smile with aligners?

Transform your smile with aligners at Riverwalk Dental Jupiter! Our expert team in Jupiter, FL, is ready to guide you toward a straighter, more confident grin. Book your appointment online or call us at (561) 677-2625 for existing patients or (561) 264-2467 for new patients. Let’s begin your journey to a brighter smile today!


Aligners may cause some discomfort, but it is temporary and can be easily dealt with with proper care and adjustments.
To reduce the discomfort, start wearing new aligners before bedtime and take pain relievers if necessary.
Aligners are a popular choice for many, but they may not be suitable for severe orthodontic issues. Consult with your orthodontist to determine the best treatment option for you.  
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