One major complaint that patients are undergoing orthodontic treatment as braces have is the pain and discomfort that come with it. Braces can be metallic or ceramic, and the brackets are fixed on the front surface of teeth. A metal wire is placed through these brackets and tightened to apply pressure on your teeth. This pressure helps to move your teeth into proper alignment. Patients often complain of pain while wearing braces, and due to the metallic and ceramic nature of the brackets, they often cause cuts or bruises on the lips or cheeks of the patients. Compared to braces, invisible braces or clear aligners are way more comfortable as they are made up of thermoplastic material and have a smooth surface. But, one question that orthodontists are repeatedly get asked by their patients before beginning their precise aligner treatment is – “Do Clear aligners hurt?”
As mentioned earlier on, this is a famous query asked by most patients, and so here’s why you shouldn’t eat with your aligners on!
To begin answering this, it is essential to clarify that – no orthodontic treatment is painless! Even the best invisible braces in Chennai orthodontist Having said this, it is also necessary to understand that pain and discomfort are subjective and cannot be generalized for all patients. Both braces, as well as clear aligners, apply constant, steady forces on your teeth to move them into their planned positions. When these forces are applied to your teeth, the teeth move within the jaw, and this is a biomechanical process. This biomechanical process results in bone formation due to which the patients may experience some amount of pain and discomfort. So, in a way, pain during your orthodontic treatment is right, as it indicates that your teeth are moving as planned. This happens even in the case of clear aligners.
Another risk of wearing aligners while eating is that any damage that occurs to the aligner trays can affect their fitting and cause distortion. A distorted or ill-fitting clear aligner tray is not practical to move your teeth as planned before starting treatment. Repeating the process of getting a new aligner tray set is both labors intensive and expensive, not to forget the delay it will cause in your treatment.
This pain and discomfort reduce as the teeth settle into their place with the given set of aligner trays and can reappear when the patient wears his/her next set of dishes. However, the pain and discomfort experienced by patients wearing clear aligners are much less than those faced with braces treatment. This is because:
● Aligners are made up of a softer material that doesn’t contain metal
● There is no metal or ceramic impingement on soft tissues as is seen in the case of braces
● Since there is no metal wire, there are no soft tissue injuries caused due to the soft tissue impingement on this metal wire
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The pain and discomfort that a patient experiences while undergoing orthodontic treatment usually fade away in a few days as the trays loosen with the movement of teeth and after the teeth have moved to their required positions. Apart from teeth movement, other reasons for pain during precise aligner treatment can be due to:
● Tight trays
● Impinging aligner trays
● Sharp borders(seen with cheaper aligner brands)
● Chipped or broken aligner
One cannot be guaranteed about if they are going to experience any pain with aligners. However, here are some measures one can take to reduce the pain and discomfort:
● Warm saline rinses multiple times a day
● Use Aligner Chewies
● Use orthodontic wax
● Visit your orthodontist for a follow-up
● Try wearing the new aligners at night rather than the day
● Eat cold or room temperature food which is soft
If you are almost decided on getting your teeth straightened using clear aligners, but the fear of pain is making you contemplate on your choice, remember that without pain in orthodontic treatment, there is no successful treatment. Have queries about teeth alignment? Contact us today to speak with our orthodontist!