5 Tips to Make Your Clear Aligners More Comfortable

clear aligners - orthodontic treatment

There’s a common misperception that orthodontic treatment involving clear aligners is more comfortable than braces. However, since the treatment involves tooth correction, you might experience some discomfort at the beginning of each tray change during your treatment. Clear aligner trays, like OrthoFX are flexible plastic and hence, they can be perceived as the most comfortable orthodontic treatment on the market. But, it’s not uncommon for the patients to experience some discomfort during the initial stages of the treatment. Here are a few tips to make the experience a little easier.

Over the counter options to relieve discomfort 

Your doctor will instruct you what to expect the first few days of treatment and the best way to address mild discomfort. It is common to prescribe anti-inflammatory medications, like aspirin or ibuprofen or acetaminophen (Tylenol) to reduce general discomfort. The good news is the discomfort should be temporary and this option provides relief as prescribed by your doctor.

Cold compress to provide relief

The age-old remedy – the cold compress – can come to your rescue in this case as well. Hold a cold compress or ice wrapped in cloth against the cheek to soothe the jaw, teeth and gums. This will not only give relief from the pain but also will reduce swelling. Ensure not to hold the compress for more than 20 minutes at a time.

Coldwater and ice cubes can help

Cold drinks seem to work for reducing pain caused due to clear aligners as well. Drinking cold water can temporarily help with the pain and discomfort inside your mouth. You can also reward yourself with some cold treats like frozen yogurt guilt-free when it’s finally time to remove the aligners. Now, who wouldn’t love that?

Say no to crunchy and hard food!

Hard foods are not recommended during the initial stages of your treatment. Some examples may include hard pretzels, carrot sticks, sticky candy or eating ice cubes. During those times your gums and teeth could be more sensitive. Allow your gum tissue some time to adapt before having chips or raw vegetables.  

Change aligners right before going to bed

It is common to experience some discomfort when you switch to a new aligner. Based on your doctors advice, consider changing the trays during the nighttime before you go to bed. This will help the mouth to adapt to the new aligner stage during your sleep and make the treatment more comfortable during the daytime. 

References:

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3467920/

https://www.healthdirect.gov.au/toothache-and-swelling

https://www.healthline.com/health/sensitive-teeth-home-remedy

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK534248/