Everything You Should Know About Invisalign Pain (2023)

Are you experiencing Invisalign pain and wondering a) what you can do about it and b) when it is going to stop? If you answered yes to these two questions, then this article was written with you in mind.

Experiencing some degree of pain and discomfort when you first start wearing Invisalign trays is completely normal, so don’t panic. Any orthodontic treatment, whether Invisalign or traditional braces, involves a bit of pain while your teeth are adjusting to your new set of aligners or braces.

Of course, the pain shouldn’t last, and if it does, it might be a sign of a bigger problem and should definitely be seen to by a dentist.

But for the vast majority of Invisalign patients, Invisalign pain is a very temporary and minor part of their Invisalign teeth straightening journey.

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Why mild discomfort is completley normal while wearing Invisalign aligners

Invisible braces, including Invisalign aligners, are a dental appliance designed to impose better teeth alignment by placing gentle but firm and persistent pressure on your teeth.

In other words, if your clear aligner trays are doing their job correctly, they will be exerting constant pressure on your teeth from the moment you put them in your mouth. It follows that when you first start wearing your first pair of Invisalign trays, your teeth, jaw, tongue – really, your entire mouth – are going to be completely unaccustomed to the presence of the trays, which is bound to feel uncomfortable, weird and slightly painful.

The good news is that your Invisalign aligners will start working straight away. Once you have been wearing them for a few hours, your teeth will already have shifted ever so slightly, which in turn will make the aligner trays feel more comfortable.

Wearing Invisalign trays is never going to be pleasant as such, but any pain and discomfort should only be in the very beginning of wearing each new set of aligner trays.

At what point in your Invisalign treatment will your aligner trays stop hurting?

Any pain or discomfort you experience as a result of wearing Invisalign aligners should start wearing off quickly, and will often have evaporated completely within a week’s time.

It is normal to experience Invisalign pain for a day or so after you first start wearing a new set of aligners – and this is not only true for your first set of aligners, but for every new set of aligners you have to wear in the course of your Invisalign treatment. The same holds true for traditional braces, by the way – every time the dentist adjusts the metal wire which control’s the teeth’s movements, you are bound to feel pain until your teeth, your jaw, your muscles and your ligaments have all adjusted to the change.

The wonderful thing about Invisalign invisible braces and old-school metal braces alike is that they start working their magic very quickly. After just a few hours or a few days, the tooth and jaw pain you experience at first will have faded into the background.

(Video) Top 10 Things to Know When Starting Invisalign | Clear Aligners | Orthodontist

Invisalign pain relief

It may not be possible to avoid Invisalign pain, but it is entirely possible to reduce it. Here is a rundown of the things you can do to ease any mild and temporary pain you may be experiencing as a result of wearing Invisalign.

Soft foods

Sticking with soft foods such as yogurt, smoothies and soups can help make the first few days wearing a new set of aligners so much more comfortable.

By the same token, you should avoid hard foods including nuts, popcorn and crunchy vegetables.

Cold temperatures

Cold temperatures work as a wonderful natural pain killer. We recommend using a cold compress, but even just a bag of frozen vegetables could work wonders by numbing some of the pain caused by a new pair of aligner trays.

Another thing you can do to temporarily numb the discomfort is to suck on ice cubes.

Invisalign chewies

When you experience pain from wearing your Invisalign aligners, it could be because your aligner trays are not properly in place. Luckily, Invisalign has thought of an easy fix for this issue: Invisalign chewies.

Invisalign chewies are small chewing devices designed to eliminate the tiny pockets of air between the inside of your aligner trays and your teeth. They are wonderfully simple to use – simply hold one between your teeth and chew on it (Without swallowing!).


Orajel is a topical pain killer which, as the name implies, is made and intended for oral use. When you dab it on an affected area it has the effect of temporarily numbing it.

OTC medications

Over the counter or OTC pain relievers are a great short-term solution for Invisalign pain.

What to do if your Invisalign pain is severe or does not subside naturally

While it is completely normal – and expected – to experience temporary pain when you start wearing your first set of aligners, persistent pain as a result of wearing Invisalign aligner trays is not normal. If your Invisalign trays continue to bother you past the first week of wearing them, it could be a sign of a deeper problem.

If the pain persists after a week of wearing your new aligner trays, something could be wrong with your aligner trays or the way they fit. Another possibility is that underlying medical conditions could be at play. To discover exactly what is going on and the best course of action, make an appointment to see your dentist as soon as you can.

Invisalign pain FAQ

How long does it take for Invisalign to stop hurting?

Clear aligners are dental appliances specifically designed to gradually straighten teeth by applying pressure to them. It follows that most invisible aligner wearers are bound to experience a degree of Invisalign pain for the first few days of wearing their new aligners. In some cases, the pain experienced can last up to a week.

Which week of Invisalign hurts the most?

The first week of wearing our new Invisalign aligner trays is always going to be the most uncomfortable.

(Video) Discomfort During Invisalign: What to Know

The simple explanation for this is that, initially, the pressure exerted on your teeth by the aligner trays is going to be at its most intense. As soon as you have been wearing your new set of aligners for a week, a day, or even just a few hours, your teeth will already have adjusted ever so slightly, which will lessen the pressure and make the aligners feel more comfortable in your mouth.

Why does Invisalign hurt so much?

The reason why your Invisalign aligner trays hurt initially is that they are putting very firm pressure on your teeth. This is both normal and intentional. This is how the clear aligner trays manage to shift your teeth into alignment over the course of you wearing them.

As soon as your jaw, ligaments and muscles have adjusted to the new aligners, wearing your Invisalign trays is going to feel more natural.

How can I ease the pain of Invisalign?

If your new dental aligners are bothering you a lot, there are several things you can do to ease the pain.

Your first port of call should be to make sure that your Invisalign clear aligners fit properly. If this is your first ever pair of aligner trays, there is a very real possibility that you may not have put them properly in place, in which case they may be cutting into your gum or not being properly in place over your teeth in a way that causes unnecessary pain. Invisalign chewies, a soft chewing device roughly the size of a cotton ball, are a great solution if you want to make sure your aligner trays are sitting properly in your mouth. You simply hold them in your mouth and chew on them to eliminate the air between the aligner tray and your teeth.

Cold temperatures have a numbing effect, so a cold compress, or even a bag of frozen peas held against your jaw can bring sweet relief. You can also try sucking on an ice cube and sipping ice-cold water.

As for painkillers, the most effective is Orajel, a topical pain killer that can be applied directly to the painful area. Over the counter painkillers are also suitable for dealing with Invisalign pain.

Is it normal for your Invisalign to hurt?

Yes, it is completely normal to experience mild pain from wearing your Invisalign aligner trays.

But while mild pain and discomfort are to be expected when you first start wearing Invisalign, experiencing pain for an extended period of time could be an indication that something else is going on. We recommend booking an appointment to see your dentist if your Invisalign pain has not significantly reduced after one week.


Invisalign pain is a normal and therefore to-be-expected part of the Invisalign treatment, as well as for any other orthodontic treatment. You are, after all, in the process of shifting your teeth and with them, your jaw muscles and ligaments, into a new alignment. Mild pain and a bit of discomfort are just part of the course.

Fortunately, there are several remedies and steps you can take to ease your Invisalign pain. You should always start by ensuring that your Invisalign trays are properly in place, by chewing an Invisalign chewie, before resolving to other methods, of which there are plenty. Cold compresses, ice cubes, topical ointment and over the counter medicines can all be helpful when it comes to dealing with temporary pain or discomfort.

Apart from the different remedies mentioned here, the key factor is patience – sometimes you just have to tough it out. Invisalign requires patience; this is true for the entire process, but it is particularly true when you start wearing a new set of aligners and experience pain. After a day or a few days, your pain should have significantly lessened.

(Video) Invisalign | The First 3 Days (72 Hours) | The Painful Truth They Don't Tell You | What to Expect!

In rare cases, Invisalign pain may persist for longer than a few days or a week. If this is the case for you, you should contact your Invisalign doctor and ask for a check-up.

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Everything You Should Know About Invisalign Pain? ›

How bad does Invisalign hurt? Invisalign “pain” is often described as your teeth being tender or sensitive to the touch/bite, feeling pressure around your teeth, and discomfort. This feeling may impact what you eat for a few days, like avoiding hard or crunchy food.

Is it normal for Invisalign to hurt really bad? ›

It isn't uncommon for patients to experience more pain when they first start using Invisalign. As they grow more accustomed to the aligners and their teeth get used to shifting, many patients report a reduction in discomfort.

What is the most painful stage of Invisalign? ›

While Invisalign may be more comfortable than metal braces, there's still a chance that you may experience mild pain or discomfort. According to Penn Dental Medicine Family Practice, the potential for pain seems to be greatest within the first week of using invisible teeth aligners.

Does Invisalign ever stop hurting? ›

How long does Invisalign hurt? Discomfort will go away in less than a week with your first Invisalign tray. With future trays, tenderness usually only lasts for a day or two. Stick with foods that require minimal chewing for the first few days.

How long should Invisalign pain last? ›

Normally the discomfort of Invisalign lasts for a few days once a new set of the aligner is put in. However, since you'll need to wear a new Invisalign aligner every two weeks, you should expect some degree of discomfort, temporarily occurring every two weeks.

How do I survive the first week of Invisalign? ›

First Week In Invisalign? 5 Tips To Make The Transition Smoother
  1. Track Your “Tray Time” Each Day. Since you'll be taking out your trays 4-6 times each day, it's easy to lose track of how long you're wearing them. ...
  2. Maintain Your Aligners. ...
  3. Sing To Help You Speak Clearly. ...
  4. Protect Your Tongue. ...
  5. Start Great Oral Hygiene Habits.
Aug 23, 2019

How do you sleep with Invisalign pain? ›

Change Your Sleeping Position

After you switch aligner trays, try sleeping on your back with your head slightly elevated. (You can do this with an extra pillow under your neck.) This will relieve pressure on your mouth and jaw while also allowing saliva to drain easily.

Do people lose weight with Invisalign? ›

In addition to a beautiful, healthy smile, Invisalign can encourage patients to practice healthy eating habits, drink water rather than soda, and lose weight. While wearing Invisalign aligners, many patients have reported that they have lost anywhere from 10 to 15 pounds.

What is the hardest part of Invisalign? ›

Typically, the lateral incisors or the teeth next to your front teeth are the most challenging to move with Invisalign aligners and traditional braces.

Does the first tray of Invisalign do anything? ›

That doesn't mean that Invisalign® hasn't already started working to straighten your smile. Invisalign begins working as soon as you place the first tray aligners in your mouth. Every smile is unique so that you may experience almost immediate, visible results, or it may be several weeks before you notice improvement.

Does pain mean Invisalign is working? ›

Another important note: Tenderness and slight discomfort are actually a good sign! It means your aligners are working and moving your teeth. It'll all be worth it in the end when you have a beautifully straight smile for the rest of your life.

Can I drink a smoothie through a straw with Invisalign? ›

Can you Drink with Invisalign Through a Straw? Dentists do not recommend drinking through a straw while wearing Invisalign aligners. Although a straw can reduce staining or warping, it will not eliminate the negative effects drinks besides water can have on the aligners.

How many times a day can you take Invisalign out? ›

Technically, you can remove your Invisalign as many times as you want in a day, provided you keep them in for around 20-22 hours daily. However, dentists recommend you remove your aligners as little as possible, only for activities such as eating meals and brushing your teeth.

Do chewies help Invisalign pain? ›

So while chewies may not make it go faster, they can keep the treatment plan on track. Chewing on the devices can also stimulate the tissues around the tooth roots. This can help with the straightening process by making the teeth more ready to move in the jaw. Most patients have occasional discomfort with Invisalign.

Why does Invisalign feel like pulling teeth out? ›

Is it Normal for Teeth to Wiggle with Invisalign? It is normal for your teeth to feel wobbly and loose when you first start wearing Invisalign aligners. This is because the aligners slightly shift your teeth into new, straight positions. Over time, as your teeth become more aligned, the looseness will fade.

What is the shortest time with Invisalign? ›

The simple answer is: “It depends.” For simple cases, treatment time with Invisalign aligners can be as short as six months. Typically, Invisalign will take 12 months to 18 months to straighten your teeth. For more complex cases such as crowded teeth, the treatment time could be 24 months or slightly longer.

Is 21 hours a day enough for Invisalign? ›

If there is a cardinal rule for Invisalign, it's this: your trays must be worn 20 – 22 hours a day for them to be effective. The trays slowly and gradually shift your teeth into place, so if you aren't wearing them, they obviously cannot do their job!

How much pain is normal with Invisalign? ›

Invisalign and clear braces can give some pain or discomfort – but it is al most always mild and temporary. In fact over 54% percent of Invisalign users do experience some mild discomfort that goes away after a short time.

How bad does Invisalign hurt the first day? ›

The initial set of Invisalign aligners will be the toughest wave to crest. You're adjusting to the odd sensation of having something in your mouth almost constantly, and it's uncomfortable too. But after a few days, the pain will subside to a dull ache and you'll get used to having Invisalign on your teeth.

What can I eat with Invisalign pain? ›

Here are some of the best soft foods for braces or Invisalign patients who are experiencing sensitivity, or anyone with sore teeth:
  • Oatmeal.
  • Cream of wheat.
  • Scrambled eggs.
  • Pancakes.
  • French toast.
  • Yogurt.
  • Cottage cheese.
  • Applesauce.
Oct 19, 2020

Why do some Invisalign trays hurt more? ›

In some cases, you may feel more significant pain in one tooth than in the others. This happens when one or more of your teeth will need the pressure to align teeth together, especially if your teeth or misaligned or crooked.

What are the negative effects of Invisalign? ›

Common Side Effects with Clear Aligners
  • Discomfort. While the trays are smooth and follow the contours of your teeth there is a possibility the aligners could irritate lips, gums and tongue as patients get used to them. ...
  • Speech. ...
  • Allergies. ...
  • Bad breath. ...
  • Biting.
May 26, 2023

Does Invisalign change face shape? ›

No, orthodontic treatment, including Invisalign and braces, does not directly impact your nose or lengthen your face.

What is the failure rate of Invisalign? ›

In general, the success rate of Invisalign is quite high. The overall success rate of Invisalign is around 96%. This means that 96% of patients who complete treatment with Invisalign achieve their desired results and are completely satisfied with the treatment.

How long will 16 Invisalign trays take? ›

Let's assume you have 16 sets of aligners. You have to switch them out every two weeks, so that's two sets of aligners each month. 16 divided by 2 is 8, so that means your treatment will take 8 months to complete.

When does Invisalign move the most? ›

During the sixth and seventh months, your Invisalign moves the most, and you will see a significant change in your teeth' position. Moreover, in some cases, people notice a difference in their teeth position within the first two weeks only; for others, it might take longer.

How long will 20 Invisalign trays take? ›

This package allows 20-26 Invisalign aligner changes during orthodontics. Sometimes, more aligners are needed depending on individual malocclusion cases. The treatment time for crowded teeth ranges from 15-30 weeks. The package is designed for major misalignment issues that require greater tooth movements.

When does Invisalign stop feeling weird? ›

Any Invisalign pain should subside after two to three days of wearing your new aligners.

When do you start noticing a difference with Invisalign? ›

For optimal results, Invisalign gradually aligns your teeth, which minimizes discomfort and ensures a precise, healthy smile. It is unrealistic to see changes in one to two weeks. While result speed varies between patients, some patients may begin to notice a subtle difference within 10 to 12 weeks.

Do Invisalign trays get tighter? ›

Once again, within the first day or two, you may notice a little discomfort as you get used to the new aligner trays. They'll be a bit tight again, but you should be used to popping them in and out without a problem at this point.

Can I take Invisalign out for a night out? ›

You can occasionally remove your Invisalign aligners to enjoy a special night out. There's no need to change a thing. Continue your day-to-day activities while still straightening your teeth.

Can you kiss someone with Invisalign? ›

Can you kiss with Invisalign®? The first bit of good news is that the answer is YES, you absolutely can. The second bit of good news? Invisalign's clear design means your pashing partner probably won't even notice that you're wearing any aligners.

What is the best drink to have with Invisalign? ›

Water is the only drink you may consume while wearing your Invisalign aligners. Avoid drinking warm or hot water, though, because the hotter temperature may warp the aligner, making it less effective or possibly irritate your gums.

Can I skip one day of Invisalign? ›

Ideally, you shouldn't ever skip wearing your trays on any days. If you skip one day, it may not affect the outcome of your treatment too much. However, the bigger issue is that it can become easy to skip more than just an occasional day. When you skip trays too often, it can alter your treatment plan.

Can I take my Invisalign out for a few hours? ›

If you forget to wear your Invisalign for just a few hours, you likely won't see any negative effects. However, if you forget to wear your Invisalign for a whole day or more, your teeth may start to shift back out of alignment.

What happens if I only wear Invisalign 20 hours a day? ›

Failure to wear the trays for 20 to 22 hours per day can result in complications that may be difficult for Dr. Lee to correct. These complications include: Delayed results: In the short run, failure to wear the trays can result in discomfort.

What painkillers are best for Invisalign pain? ›

Take Over-the-Counter Pain Relievers

These include medications such as acetaminophen, ibuprofen, and naproxen. These will not need to be taken every day. Typically, patients find that these medications are helpful during the first two to three days after switching to a new tray.

Can you chew too much with Invisalign? ›

Side Effects of Invisalign Chewies

Because they require repeated biting and chewing, your jaw might develop some soreness after a while. However, over time the pain or discomfort will go away. If it is too much to handle, you can use an over-the-counter pain reliever or consult your doctor.

Can teeth fall out because of Invisalign? ›

Not really! But your teeth might feel a little loose. Although Invisalign is normally painless, you may experience a feeling that your teeth are loose while wearing your aligners.

How do you get rid of Invisalign pain? ›

How To Deal With Invisalign Pain?
  1. Choose Soft Foods in Your Diet. ...
  2. Use Orthodontic Wax. ...
  3. Use Cold Compress over the Painful Area. ...
  4. Switch to New trays Before Bedtime.
  5. Use Aligner Retrieval Tools to Remove Aligners. ...
  6. Designation of Your Invisalign Provider Matters. ...
  7. Use Invisalign Chewies.
Apr 30, 2019

Has anyone lost a tooth with Invisalign? ›

If decay or gum disease is missed in a physical check-up, people risk losing some of their teeth. She says she has treated someone who lost their front tooth after using the aligners because they moved her teeth too quickly, skewing her bite.

When does Invisalign get easier? ›

Since the aligners are designed to begin actively moving your teeth, you'll likely feel some discomfort for the first few days. However, most people find that the soreness wears off after the first week. You may also notice that you speak with a slight lisp during the first week of wearing your aligners.

Is the first Invisalign tray the most painful? ›

However, most people get used to the feeling over time, so discomfort should lessen with each new set of Invisalign trays. Because the pressure and feeling of the Invisalign aligners are new at the start of treatment, the first few Invisalign trays tend to be the most uncomfortable for our Orland Park patients.

How many times a day can you remove Invisalign? ›

Technically, you can remove your Invisalign as many times as you want in a day, provided you keep them in for around 20-22 hours daily. However, dentists recommend you remove your aligners as little as possible, only for activities such as eating meals and brushing your teeth.

How long does 20 Invisalign trays take? ›

Generally speaking, Invisalign is understood to be the fastest braces treatment. This is because Invisalign is typically used for treating minor cases, meaning only 20-30 sets of aligners are required over 6-8 months (roughly).

What hurts more braces or Invisalign? ›

Invisalign is significantly less painful than metal braces. Most people report discomfort for the first few days of wearing the trays and some tenderness, but when compared to the agony of metal braces, Invisalign wins by being less painful.

What should I eat the first week of Invisalign? ›

That said, eating soft foods without your trays in your mouth is an excellent choice during your Invisalign treatment. Soft foods are less likely to get stuck in your teeth and are easier to remove from your teeth. They're a good option for lunch or other times when you're unable to brush your teeth.


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