Invisalign® can straighten your teeth in as little as 12 to 18 months but that doesn't mean that you won't experience some discomfort during treatment. Fortunately, our Hudsonville Invisalign dentists can help you find ways to make it through with less pain. Invisalign aligners work by exerting constant pressure on your teeth. Because of this, you may feel the most discomfort during the first 2 to 3 days of wearing new aligners. Here are 6 tips for making Invisalign more comfortable. 1. Take Over-the-Counter Pain Relievers Are you getting a new set of clear aligners soon? If so, take some over-the-counter pain relievers before your appointment with us. That way, the medication will have enough time to take effect before you wear your new aligners. Some common over-the-counter pain relievers you can use include ibuprofen, acetaminophen, and naproxen. Be sure to only take these as directed and not to overdo anything. 2. Switch to New Aligners Before Sleeping Sometimes it's easier to ignore pain while you're asleep. If you're one of those people, switch to your new aligners right before bed. By doing this, you'll easily be able to get through the first few hours while you're sleeping. You may also want to take a pain reliever to help reduce any discomfort before drifting off to sleep. These two tricks combined should make for a smooth transition between aligner sets. 3. Use Cold Compresses Holding a cold compress up to your cheek can help you numb Invisalign pain. The coldness of the compact makes the blood vessels underneath constrict and with less blood circulation, you'll experience less dental pain. If you don't have a cold compress, a frozen bag of peas or corn works in a pinch. However, if you're using frozen vegetables, remember to wrap a kitchen towel around the bag to protect your skin. You should also never apply a cold compress for more than 15 to 20 minutes. 4. Eat Soft Foods Try to only choose softer foods that are easy to chew while your teeth and gums are sore. Our dentists recommend yogurt, mashed potatoes, smoothies, pasta, and rice. Cool foods (like ice cream) are also great because they’re soothing and numbing. Though it may be tempting, we advise staying away from hard, tough to chew foods at least until your teeth become more used to wearing aligners. Examples include pretzels, nuts, popcorn, and chips. Remember that when you are ready to eat these types of foods again, take out your aligners first and place them in your protective case. 5. Don't Remove Your Aligners As mentioned above, you'll experience the most discomfort during the first 2 to 3 days of wearing aligners. Although, it's important to remember that each patient has a different pain tolerance. Time is your friend during Invisalign treatment. The more you wear your aligners, the sooner the initial pain will subside. If you don't wear your aligners 20 to 22 hours a day, it's like starting from scratch each time. This is because your teeth won't have consistent pressure on them to move. So, while you may want to take them out because they hurt, only remove your clear aligners to eat, drink, floss, and brush your teeth. 6. Remember Why You Chose Invisalign There must have been a reason why you chose Invisalign over other types of orthodontic treatment. For example, Invisalign is clear and more discreet than traditional metal braces. Whenever you feel a twinge of pain, think about how beautiful your smile will look once you're done. Think about how much straighter and healthier your teeth will be after your last set of aligners. Keep your motivation close to your heart and you'll be crossing the finish line in no time! Call Hudsonville Dental Today Any Invisalign pain should subside after a few days of wearing your new aligners. But you should call our Invisalign dentists in Hudsonville, MI, if you experience any discomfort that seems severe or otherwise out of the ordinary. Our team would be more than happy to check your bite and aligners during your next visit. Call Hudsonville Dental at (616) 209-4024 today to schedule an appointment. This blog post has been updated.