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Is Invisalign® Uncomfortable?

Updated: May 14

Having a dazzling, beautiful smile is valued by most of us. This includes a desire for having straight, even teeth. If you have gaps in your front teeth or your front teeth are a little crooked, having them straightened with aligner treatment can help you to achieve the look and improved function you desire. But, are aligners like Invisalign® uncomfortable? If you’ve never had the trays and you don’t know of anyone who has gone through the treatment, then you may be wondering if it takes time to get used to the trays. You may even be a little worried about whether or not aligner treatment like Invisalign® is painful and cause your teeth to ache when you first start wearing the aligners.

We understand your concerns, and these are all common questions. Below, we look at what to expect with the trays and what to do alleviate any discomfort.

Is It Uncomfortable to Wear Aligner Trays?

A little discomfort is common with any kind of orthodontic treatment, and can be expected especially in the early stages of wearing aligners like Invisalign®.

Most patients do feel a little discomfort on day one. It’s natural. Your teeth are used to being free of anything cumbersome, and they’re now encased in a clear moulded tray that’s designed to move them with slight pressure. In addition to the slight pressure, your plastic aligners will feel different to your teeth, tongue, gums and even your lips. Within days this awareness will decrease and the new aligner will no longer feel odd.

So, yes, aligners like Invisalign® will possibly be a bit uncomfortable, more-so in the first couple of days. The good news is that the more you concentrate on your day-to-day routine, the more likely the presence of your new aligners will slip to the back of your mind. You will begin to forget they are even in your mouth, straightening your smile without you giving it a second thought.

The more you wear your trays, the more your teeth move and the pressure will lessen. Just don’t forget to put your trays back in after you haven taken them out to eat, drink or clean them. If you do forget to put them back in after a period of time, and you’re likely to feel increased pressure as your teeth have moved back to the place in which they were.

Fortunately, aligner trays tend to become much more comfortable after the first few days. But, that’s only if you remember to wear them for 20 to 22 hours a day.

Is aligner treatment uncomfortable, Especially at Night?

Aligner treatment is carefully controlled to deliver only a small amount of pressure with each new tray. Pressure will not be excessive. That being said, some people are more sensitive than others, so it is possible that you may notice some tenderness in your teeth at night. Again, this is more likely to occur when the trays are very new – or if you have not been wearing them consistently.

Does It Hurt to Wear New Trays?

Each time you get a new tray, you may feel some minor discomfort. That’s because each new new tray will fit a little more tightly to encourage your teeth to move to the desired position. Luckily, there are a few things you can do if your trays are uncomfortable:

1. Be persistent

For your treatment to be effective, you need to wear your aligners for at least 22 hours every day. The constant pressure that’s applied to your teeth is what helps them shift into the desired position. When the trays are removed for an extended period of time, the delay can undo any progress you’ve already made. Teeth are most comfortable when they move in a steady, consistent manner.

Treatment with aligners like Invisalign® will also be faster if you wear the trays as instructed. If the trays are not worn as instructed, the plan will need to be re-generated, increasing the overall treatment time.

2. Keep up your maintenance routine

Remember to remove your trays whenever you eat or drink. Also, make sure you clean your teeth before you put the trays back in. If you don’t, you allow bacteria and food to build up on your teeth which can result in a myriad of other dental problems.

If you have a painful tooth or bleeding gums keep in mind that this type of discomfort could actually be due to tooth decay or gum disease rather than related to the treatment. Remember to continue your visits to your regular dentist as well as your specialist orthodontist visits.

3. Handy tools for placement and removal

Sometimes it can be tricky to get the aligners in and out. Again, this is less likely to be the case if you’ve been wearing the trays well. If needed, there are soft ‘chewies’ available that help you to completely ‘seat’ the trays. This helps ensure that your trays are correctly fitted all the way around your mouth. If you are finding they are awkward to remove, you can request a tiny hook tool to help you to remove the trays.

Please ask your orthodontist if you would like to try these tools.

What If You’re Allergic to the Trays

While it’s pretty rare, some people are allergic to the plastic used to manufacture the trays. For these patients, their discomfort might be directly related to their allergy.

Your provider will help you figure out the best course of action if you’re allergic to the trays.

Are You Ready for Aligner Treatment like Invisalign®?

Is aligner treatment uncomfortable? Overall, the straightening solution can be mildly uncomfortable when you first wear the trays. Sometimes the trays or attachments can feel rough on the side of your lips and cheeks. The great majority of patients will get used to wearing aligners relatively quickly. This type of treatment is an option for those who want a straighter smile without wearing metal braces. Fine Orthodontics work with a variety of products, the skill and knowledge of the orthodontist is the most important factor in determining your result. We can assess your unique needs, and if treatment is indicated you may be offered the option of clear aligners like Invisalign®.

If you’d like more information on how to get a straighter smile, talk to the team at Fine Orthodontics. Give us a call to schedule a consultation or Book your appointment online and we’ll answer any questions you have about the treatment process. We’ll also discuss any concerns you have about fittings and comfort.

*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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