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Invisalign® Side Effects

Updated: May 14

Clear aligners including Invisalign® have become a popular alternative to metal braces. A skilled orthodontist can achieve excellent results, sometimes in under 12 months – all with other people barely noticing the trays. However, there can be a few mild side effects with Invisalign® (which are also applicable to other similar clear aligner systems). Below, we look at some of the common adverse reactions some patients experience.

Common Side Effects with Clear Aligners

1. 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. This is usually no more than a general awareness that something is different and usually resolves within days. Patients may also be aware of the ‘attachments’. Attachments are small, clear bumps which allow the aligner trays to better grip and move teeth. Attachments can cause localised discomfort against the inside of lips and cheeks and there is a chance of developing an ulcer. Again, this is more likely towards the beginning of treatment when the mouth is adjusting to the new aligners. Keep in mind that attachments are much smaller, flatter and smoother than traditional braces.

2. Speech

Since a thin layer of plastic covers the teeth, patients may experience a lisp during speech for the first few days. This doesn’t always happen but is one of the common mild side effects with clear aligners like Invisalign®. The best way to alleviate this issue is to leave the aligners in as much as possible and practice speaking – so that your tongue gets used to working around the aligners. Speech patterns should begin to automatically adjust and compensate for the aligners. During an important phone call, meeting or presentation, it is OK to take the aligners out. Just make sure to place them straight back in to avoid any delays in treatment time.

3. Allergies

It’s rare to have an allergic reaction to the trays. Ask your orthodontist – you may be entitled to a full refund or transfer to another treatment type should this happen.

4. Bad breath

The tooth trays don’t allow saliva to wash over your mouth. So, some patients experience a dry mouth and bad breath. Bad breath and dry mouth are easily avoided by drinking water throughout the day, as well as brushing teeth twice a day. Flossing should also be carried out regularly. Make sure the aligners are kept clean as well – a dirty aligner or unclean teeth can be another cause of bad breath. You can read more about oral hygiene during aligner treatment here.

5. Biting

Some patients can find that they bite the inside of their cheek as treatment progresses. This can occur as patients become used to a new bite and haven’t yet made adjustments for the new teeth positions. Like the other side effects with aligners like Invisalign®, this should improve with time.

The Upside of Aligners

1. Invisible

The trays are very discreet – almost invisible. Clear aligners like Invisalign® allow you to smile and laugh freely without feeling self-conscious about the appearance of your teeth.

2. Removable

You can take the trays out to eat, drink, play sport and swim – they should stay in for a minimum of 22 hours per day though.

3. Efficient

Most patients' treatment is complete in as little as 12 months, with some mild cases completed in as little as 6 months. Your orthodontist will be able to advise an approximate treatment time during your first consultation. Most patients will notice that aligners like Invisalign® will start to work in just six weeks.

4. Convenient

Clear aligners requires less follow up appointments when compared to the traditional metal braces, and shorter appointment times. This is especially the case when patients utilise our dental monitoring app to help us monitor their treatment and progress remotely.

Is Invisalign® the Right Choice for You?

If you want to correct misaligned or crooked teeth without fixed braces, Invisalign® could be a suitable choice for you to develop a straighter smile and get a great confidence boost, too. It is, however not the only option. The best way to determine your options is a consultation with a specialist orthodontist who can analyse your unique needs and offer treatment options relevant to you.

Choose you choose Invisalign® (one of many available clear aligner options) there are a few common side effects, each of them is generally easy enough to manage, and they generally do improve as your treatment progresses.

Book a free* assessment* and find out more about Invisalign® and other applicable treatment options at Fine Orthodontics.

*If orthodontic X-rays are required, a fee of $180 applies. See Terms and Conditions. Treatment may not be suitable for you.

These Products are not available for purchase by the general public. They are however available to Fine Orthodontics patients. Always read the label and follow the instructions for use.


Find out more about Invisalign®:



Specialist Orthodontist Input by Dr Martin Fine BDS, MSc, MSc

Dr Martin Fine

Dr Martin Fine

Specialist Orthodontist Dr Martin Fine, BDS, MSc (Orthodontics), is based in Sydney's Eastern Suburbs. With over 30 years' experience in private practice, Dr Fine has expertise working with a wide variety of orthodontic appliances, including braces and Invisalign. He has presented at orthodontic conferences globally, and has taught postgraduate orthodontic students at the University of Sydney. Dr Fine is a member of both the AAO (American Association of Orthodontists) and the ASO (Australian Society of Orthodontists), and is a former president of the Alpha-Omega Dental Society's Sydney Chapter.  In the past, Dr Fine's research has been featured in the Angle Orthodontist journal. Dr Fine is committed to providing outstanding patient care using the latest and most effective techniques. Most recently, Dr Fine has developed and introduced the innovative FineLine clear aligner system, which has been specifically developed to meet the needs of patients at Fine Orthodontics.

Written by Danielle Long

Danielle Long

Danielle Long.png

Danielle Long has been assisting in the creation of beautiful smiles at Fine Orthodontics for over 15 years. Holding graduate qualifications in English and Education (BA/BEd UNSW), Dani brings a unique blend of knowledge to her role. She has worked in many different areas of the practice, having served as both Clinical Assistant and Treatment Coordinator over the years. Continually fascinated by the art and science behind orthodontics, Dani is always keen to share her knowledge in order to enhance patient understanding and experience. Dani focuses on facilitating exceptional patient communication and delivering in-depth orthodontic treatment information. She strives to ensure that every individual embarking on their orthodontic journey with Fine Orthodontics feels informed and supported.

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