How To Reduce The Discomfort Of Clear Aligner Braces

If you are an adult with slightly or moderately crooked teeth, then you should consider the use of clear aligners to help reposition them. While clear aligners are much more comfortable than traditional metal braces or damon braces, you are likely to still experience some discomfort. Fortunately, pain and soreness are easy to control, so learn about a few easy things you can do to reduce pain while you wear your clear aligners.

Exchange Aligners At Night

The clear aligner system that is utilized to help shift your teeth relies on micro-movements to straighten the bite. Much like the wires that are used with traditional braces, the aligners use pressure to move the teeth. The plastic moves the teeth and you will be required to utilize an average of 20 to 30 sets of aligners. If your case is severe, then 50 sets might be needed with a two week wear period with each set. Typically, you will pick up the aligners from your cosmetic dentist's office and a checkup appointment will be scheduled every four to six weeks. While most people are anxious to start the new aligners to move their teeth along successfully, it is not wise to switch the aligners right away. You should wait until you are ready to go to bed.

When you first put the set of aligners in your mouth, they will force against the teeth to loosen them from the periodontal ligaments. The stretching of the ligaments will be slightly painful, and this discomfort is likely to worsen as you eat food. The pain will subside within a few hours, so it is best to go through this process while you sleep at night. As you switch your aligners, also think about taking an NSAID pain reliever like ibuprofen or acetaminophen to reduce discomfort even further. 

Pay Attention to Your Gums

Your clear aligners will cover the majority of your teeth, and a small lip will sit against the edge of each aligner so that a fingernail or an aligner removal tool can be used. While the lip is not considered sharp, it is flat along the top. This can cause some discomfort and bleeding if the plastic sits directly against the gums. Your clear aligners will be initially created with the assistance of a mold. The mold will clearly show your teeth and your gums so the aligners are not so tall that they scrape the tissues. However, if you form a case of gingivitis during the straightening period, then tissue inflammation may cause the gums to come close to the edge of the aligners. The accompanying gum scraping can be quite painful.

The best way to reduce this issue is to make sure that you take good care of the gums as you use your clear aligners. Your gums are likely to stretch and open a small amount along the sides as your teeth move. These pockets can hold bacteria, so it is wise to invest in a water flosser instead of using dental floss. If you want to use the flosser throughout the day without removing your aligners, then think about choosing a model that comes with a special orthodontic tip. The tip is made to help move the flosser around traditional braces, but it can also assist with cleaning around clear aligners. 

Along with using the flosser, make sure to sanitize your aligners daily to reduce the amount of bacteria that comes into contact with your gums. A denture cleaner can safely clean the aligners, so think about soaking them while you eat dinner in the evening.

Clear aligners work well to shift crooked teeth, but pain and discomfort may be a concern of yours. You can thankfully reduce pain by securing new aligners in the evening and by taking care of your gums. Your cosmetic dentist may have some other tips for you, so make sure to ask during your next consultation at a clinic like Elk Plaza Dental.