Patients often feel anxious when getting braces, so I try to put them at ease by telling them that the orthodontic force levels are one-tenth of what they were 20 years ago, and only one to two percent of the force that was used when I had braces in the 1970s. The painful braces stories that their parents tell them are so old school.
While patients do not feel any pain when getting traditional braces on or getting fit for Invisalign clear aligners, they may have a little discomfort in the days following placement.
Patients with traditional braces, who come to the office every 8 to 10 weeks to get appliance adjustments, may experience a little soreness for two to three days each time.
With Invisalign, there are smaller increments of movement per stage; therefore, there is less discomfort per stage than traditional metal braces. Patients will generally feel some tightness for a day after putting in a new aligner. The aligner trays are smooth so there is little or no irritation from rubbing or poking, unlike traditional braces.
If patients feel any discomfort, they can take Advil or other over-the-counter pain relief medication. Patients can also minimize any discomfort by chewing (not going on a soft food diet) or stimulating their teeth and gums using a vibration-type appliance to bite on.
For any unusual discomfort, patients are reminded that they can call the office at any time or my cell.