What to Do if You're Experiencing Discomfort from Your Aligners

With clear aligners becoming the most popular choice to straighten adult teeth, many people are choosing Spark Aligners to help them get a brighter smile. One of the many benefits that clear aligners have over braces is that they’re usually more comfortable to wear. The material is smooth and fits closely over your teeth, reducing chafing on your cheeks. In particular, Spark Aligners are made with TruGEN™, an innovative material with polished and scalloped edges that are designed to offer a more comfortable aligner experience.* However, some people still experience aligner pain or the sensation of aligners hurting their teeth. If you’re struggling with pressure or pain from your trays, Spark Aligners has some guidance that can help.

clear aligner case close up on counter

Dealing with Aligner Pain

Most of the time, discomfort from clear aligners is mild and temporary. However, if you’re experiencing consistent pain from your trays, it may be time to find a solution. Some of the best ways to combat aligners hurting your teeth include dental wax, over-the-counter medications, tray adjustments, and modification of your chewing style.

Using Dental Wax

To use dental wax for aligner pain due to chafing, apply a small amount of the wax to the top edges of the tray. The edges are the roughest part of the tray, and keeping them lubricated can help reduce friction and movement in your mouth. Your choice of aligner brands can make a huge difference in your comfort levels as well. For example, Spark Aligners, featuring scalloped and smooth edges, are more comfortable than the leading brand.*

Tray Adjustments

Another solution for chafing from your trays is asking your orthodontist to make an adjustment, so they fit your mouth better. Bring them in for a quick filing session that will ensure the trays don’t rub against your gums anymore.

Pain Medication

Some people choose to deal with aligner pain by using over-the-counter medications. When the pain is too severe, acetaminophen, aspirin, or ibuprofen can be used to minimize pain. However, other medical conditions and allergies may prevent these from being the right choice for you. Always consult a doctor before using medication for pain relief.

Change Your Chewing Patterns

If you’re experiencing pain in just one tooth, you can try to change the way you chew to prevent yourself from placing too much pressure on that one area. Chewing only on one side will give your pained teeth a break.

Don’t Remove Your Trays

couple eating breakfast at table with clear aligners

Many people are tempted to remove their trays when faced with aligner pain. You should never take out your aligners for an extended period of time unless under the direction of your orthodontist. For clear aligners to work, they must be worn for at least 22 hours every day. Taking them out slows down your treatment plan and decreases your tolerance to the pain.

Should You Call Your Doctor?

Sometimes, aligner pain is a bad sign. While you should expect some discomfort from your trays for the first week, if the pain gets worse after that time, you should call your orthodontist. Just keep in mind that with every new tray set, you’ll have the same adjustment period to deal with the discomfort.

You should also get in touch with your orthodontist if you’re experiencing pain while drinking, swallowing food, or eating, bleeding in your gums or teeth, and sensitivity to hot or cold. These could signify other issues and may require immediate changes to your treatment plan.

Start Your Journey

If you don’t have clear aligners and you’re considering them as an option, Spark Aligners can help! 100% of patients would recommend Spark Aligners to a friend* thanks to their superior comfort, resistance to stains, and nearly invisible look.** The Spark Difference makes us one of the preferred options on the market, and we can even help find you a provider in your area!

Learn more about our aligners when you explore customer testimonials here!

*Data on file.
**Compared to the leading aligner competitor. Data on file.