Does Invisalign Make Your Teeth Sensitive? What You Need to Know

does invisalign make your teeth sensitive

Key Takeaways

  • Invisalign can make teeth temporarily sensitive.
  • Mild discomfort is common and manageable.
  • Consult a dentist for severe sensitivity issues.
  • Most patients report that sensitivity and pain caused Invisalign aligners go away within 3 days

Wearing Invisalign clear aligners can sometimes make your teeth sensitive. This sensitivity usually occurs because the aligners use pressure to move your teeth into a better position, which can irritate the nerves in your teeth. It is normal for patients to temporarily experience mild tooth sensitivity while wearing Invisalign trays.

Just to note, sensitivity is common but doesn’t have to be long-term. There are ways to manage and reduce the discomfort. If it gets severe we should see our dentist to make sure there are no underlying issues that need attention.

By understanding the causes and prevention of sensitivity with Invisalign we can have a more comfortable experience. Follow along as we go into more detail on managing sensitivity and getting the most out of our Invisalign treatment.

Invisalign Treatment and Teeth Sensitivity - Causes and Prevention

During Invisalign treatment in Singapore, some people may experience sensitivity. This can be due to the pressure from the aligners, nerve irritation from tooth movement and changes in oral hygiene routines.

How Invisalign treatment can lead to teeth sensitivity

Pressure on Teeth

Invisalign aligners apply a controlled amount of pressure to move teeth into the desirable position. This pressure is necessary for alignment but can be uncomfortable. When we first put in new aligners they may feel tight as they start to exert pressure on our teeth. This pressure can sometimes cause sensitivity especially in the first few days of wearing a new set of aligners.

Wearing aligners continuously helps our teeth get used to the pressure. However if the sensitivity persists or gets severe we should see our dentist. They can adjust the treatment plan to reduce the discomfort.

Tooth Movement and Nerve Endings

Another cause of sensitivity is tooth movement during treatment. As teeth move into the proper positions the nerve endings in the teeth can become irritated. Tooth movement involves tiny changes in the positioning of the teeth which can affect the underlying nerve structures.

These nerves can send pain signals to the brain and we feel sensitivity. The intensity and duration of this sensitivity can vary from person to person. We need to give our mouth time to adjust to these changes and follow our dentist’s instructions to manage the discomfort.

Changes in Oral Hygiene Routine

Invisalign treatment requires changes in our oral hygiene routine. We need to remove our aligners before eating and drinking anything other than water. This can disrupt our usual brushing and flossing habits.

Increased frequency of brushing and flossing can sometimes lead to temporary sensitivity of the gums and teeth. It is important to be gentle yet thorough in our oral hygiene practices. Using a toothpaste with higher fluoride concentration can help reduce any discomfort. Toothpaste with more fluoride concentration can be particularly effective in managing sensitivity during Invisalign treatment.

Keeping our Invisalign aligners clean is essential, as trapped food particles and plaque can contribute to sensitivity. Regular dental check-ups during our Invisalign treatment can ensure our teeth and gums remain healthy.

Attachments and Accessories for Invisalign

Invisalign attachments are small, tooth-coloured bumps adhered to the teeth. They help guide the aligners in applying the right pressure to shift teeth. Buttons and rubber bands are also sometimes used to fix more complex alignment issues. These additions can increase the pressure felt on your teeth.

We're also advised to use Invisalign chewies, cylindrical devices that help seat the aligners properly. Using chewies can reduce discomfort, but sometimes, the added pressure may contribute to sensitivity.

These accessories are crucial for effective treatment but can cause more initial discomfort.

Managing Sensitivity During Invisalign Treatment

Orthodontic treatments like Invisalign can cause tooth sensitivity, a common but manageable side effect. To help minimize this discomfort, you need to incorporate specific habits for oral hygiene and diet.

Tips to Reduce Teeth Sensitivity During Orthodontic Treatment

  1. Use Toothpaste for Sensitive Teeth - Using toothpaste for sensitive teeth can help reduce sensitivity. These toothpastes have ingredients that block the nerves of the teeth, giving you relief from pain and discomfort. Additionally, choosing toothpaste with higher fluoride concentration can further reduce sensitivity and manage sore teeth.
  2. Avoid Acidic Foods and Drinks - Avoiding acidic foods and drinks is important to prevent enamel weakening which can lead to sensitivity. Fruits like citrus, tomatoes and soda should be consumed in moderation, if at all. Dentist or orthodontist advise to brush immediately after eating acidic foods.
  3. Practice Good Oral Hygiene - Proper oral hygiene routine is a must. Brush your teeth twice a day with a soft-bristled toothbrush, floss daily and use an alcohol-free mouthwash to keep your mouth clean and healthy and reduce sensitivity. Also, floss and brush your teeth after each meal before you put the Invisalign aligners back on.
  4. Drink Plenty of Water - Staying hydrated is another key to reducing tooth sensitivity. Drinking plenty of water throughout the day keeps your mouth moist, washes away food particles and bacteria and can maintain a neutral pH level in your mouth, all of which can reduce sensitivity.

Implementing these strategies during your Invisalign treatment can make a significant difference in managing and reducing tooth sensitivity, ensuring a more comfortable orthodontic experience.

Sensitivity: Invisalign Vs. Traditional Braces

singapore woman with sensitive teeth

If we only consider sensitivity, then Invisalign is the better option that causes less discomfort 1. When choosing between Invisalign and traditional braces, you need to consider how each option affects teeth sensitivity. Let’s compare sensitivity issues with metal braces and clear aligners.

Sensitivity With Metal Braces

Metal braces can cause sensitivity, especially when first applied or adjusted.

The brackets and wires push on the teeth which can cause discomfort. This pressure often leads to sensitivity and makes it painful to chew or bite down especially during the days after an adjustment.

The metal parts can also irritate the gums and the inside of the lips which adds to the discomfort. In some cases, this can cause sores or cuts. This irritation can intensify sensitivity especially when eating hot, cold or sweet foods.

Despite these issues, traditional braces can treat complex dental problems. Sensitivity is a common side effect but it usually subsides over time as the mouth adjusts.

Sensitivity With Clear Aligners

Invisalign and other clear aligners also cause teeth sensitivity but to a lesser degree than metal braces.

These aligners apply constant pressure to move the teeth which can cause sensitivity, especially at the start of a new set of aligners. The feeling is often described as a mild ache rather than sharp tooth pain.

Clear aligners are custom-made to fit snugly over the teeth which can minimize irritation to the gums and cheeks. This reduces the likelihood of sores and cuts which is common with metal braces. However, wearing and removing aligners can still cause some temporary discomfort especially if the aligners are tight.

Clear aligners need to be worn 20-22 hours a day. Although sensitivity is still present it’s more manageable than with traditional braces. In most cases however, clear aligners such as Invisalign cannot treat complex problems by themselves, so they are used in combination with braces for conditions such as open bite correction 2 3.

Consulting with an orthodontist or dentist about teeth sensitivity

If you have severe tooth sensitivity you should consult with an orthodontist or dentist before starting Invisalign treatment. They can assess if you are a good candidate and discuss alternative options if needed. Your dentist can also give you advice on how to manage sensitivity during your treatment.

Frequently Asked Questions

We get asked about tooth sensitivity with Invisalign. Here are some of the most common questions to help you understand your treatment.

Why do teeth become sensitive after wearing Invisalign?

Teeth become sensitive because Invisalign aligners apply pressure to move the teeth into place. This pressure can irritate the nerves inside the teeth.

Can Invisalign cause tooth problems?

No, aligners like Invisalign do not cause cavities by themselves. However, neglecting proper care of your aligners and dental hygiene can lead to cavity development. To avoid tooth decay, ensure you maintain good hygiene and properly clean your aligners.

Is it common to experience heightened sensitivity to hot and cold temperatures with Invisalign?

Yes, you will. As your teeth move you might feel more sensitive to hot and cold drinks or food hot and cold foods or drinks. This is usually temporary.

Can the removal of Invisalign attachments lead to increased tooth sensitivity?

Removing Invisalign attachments can sometimes lead to sensitivity. It disturbs the tooth enamel, which may cause temporary discomfort or sensitivity.

Are certain teeth more prone to sensitivity during Invisalign treatment?

Yes, certain teeth may be more sensitive, especially those undergoing significant movement. The front teeth often experience more pressure than the others.

What potential dental issues should one be aware of when using Invisalign?

Some potential issues include gum irritation, jaw pain, and temporary changes in bite. It’s important to maintain good oral hygiene to prevent problems like cavities and gum disease.

Does Invisalign typically cause tenderness throughout the treatment process?

Mild tenderness is to be expected, especially after changing to a new set of aligners. This should lessen as your teeth adjust to each set and get into a more desirable position.

How long will your teeth be sensitive during Invisalign treatment?

Mild tooth sensitivity is usually only for a few days after starting each new aligner. Duration and intensity vary depending on your tolerance and dental health.

Should I get Invisalign if I have naturally sensitive teeth?

Yes, you can still get Invisalign if you have sensitive teeth. Invisalign treatment won’t make sensitivity worse and may even reduce it over time as your teeth adjust to the aligners. But consult with your orthodontist or dentist to know the best approach for your case.

Why do my teeth feel weak with Invisalign?

Feeling weak or loose teeth is normal with Invisalign. It's a sign that your teeth are shifting as they should.

Which is better for sensitive teeth: Invisalign or braces?

Invisalign is generally better for sensitive teeth. It is less painful and less intrusive compared to traditional braces, making it a more comfortable choice.