Some pain and discomfort are to be expected in the quest for better teeth. Just like our muscles feel sore after a workout session at the gym, the mild tooth pain at the beginning is one sign that your invisible aligners are working to straighten your teeth. It’s a price you’ll have to pay if you want a gorgeous new smile.
Not all people will experience pain while wearing clear teeth aligners, and that’s perfectly normal. And that doesn’t mean that the treatment isn’t working either. It all varies from person to person. If you do experience pain and soreness, however, here are a few natural pain remedies to help you during your quest for straighter teeth.
1. Take a pain reliever
Many people who use aligners say that pain is most pronounced when they are inserting the trays or taking them out. That’s a normal part of the straightening process. Over-the-counter pain relievers such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen can ease some of the pain you feel.
It’s best if you consult with your primary care provider before taking any medication. And if the discomfort doesn’t go away, you need to speak to your orthodontist right away.
2. Keep to your schedule
You might be tempted to switch to the next set of aligners just to get it over with. But if you don’t stick to your schedule, it can prolong the time you’ll have to spend wearing aligners. It can also affect the effectiveness of the treatment. Follow the orthodontist’s instructions to the letter.
One great way to minimize the initial discomfort from a new set of aligners is to do the switch right before you sleep. The pain is most acute in the first few hours of wearing a new set. By doing it before bedtime, you won’t even be awake to feel the discomfort.
3. Check for sharp or rough edges
Aligners are custom-fit to the contours of your teeth and are created with remarkable precision. In most cases, you won’t have any problems with your set. But once in a while, you might get one that has a sharp or rough edge, which could graze against the inside of your mouth. Ask your orthodontist to fix the set for you.
4. Gargle with saltwater
Dentists recommend gargling with warm salt water to help with sores. All you have to do is to add half a teaspoon of salt to a cup of warm water. Rinse the saltwater in your mouth for 30 seconds and then spit it out. Do this after eating and brushing.
5. Apply ice
Another easy way to minimize soreness and inflammation is to apply an ice pack around your mouth area. We all know that cold temperatures help relieve pain and reduce swelling. If you don’t have an ice pack, you can use a face towel instead. Dip the face towel in water and place it in your freezer for up to 20 minutes.
These pointers will help you manage the pain and discomfort you feel while wearing aligners. While you can manage the pain yourself, do not attempt to make alterations on the aligners. Always consult your orthodontist if the pain becomes too great or if the aligners are too uncomfortable.