There is nothing quite like finally wearing your first set of clear aligners. After all the planning and preparation, it is so exciting to start a journey towards a straighter smile and a more confident you. However, many are surprised to find that while wearing their new clear aligners, they find themselves experiencing slight discomfort.
Discomfort is normal when wearing clear aligners; while it may be frustrating and uncomfortable, it is a good sign that they are working. At EZ Smile, many of our customers want to know how to make aligners more comfortable. Well, today, we are going to cover 9 tips to make aligners more comfortable. Let’s get into it!
How To Make Aligners More Comfortable: The Basics
Keep It Hygienic
Like with any oral care, it is vital to keep things hygienic when wearing your clear aligners. A lot is going on in your mouth when you wear any teeth aligning device; the last thing you want is an infection or additional dental issues. Figuring out how to make aligners more comfortable for you can be tricky, but good dental hygiene will always help. Make sure to maintain regular brushing and flossing as well as looking after your aligners and retainers. Keeping your aligners or retainer clean will stop bacteria and smelly odours from taking hold and making things more uncomfortable than they need to be.
How to Make Retainers More Comfortable? Rest!
Sleep is crucial for any aspect of your health. Sometimes all you need to reduce your pain and discomfort is a good night’s sleep. Good quality sleep will not only have you feeling better in general, but it will allow your body to heal itself and reduce your sensitivity to pain. When wearing a new tray for the first time, putting it in before bed can help reduce your level of discomfort as your body adjusts while you sleep.
Use an Emery Board
An emery board can be used to smooth the edges of your clear aligners (where they are too close to your gums), which can otherwise irritate your mouth and gums. An emery board is like a nail file; it has one smooth side and one rough side. Giving your aligners a little file should reduce any discomfort felt from irritation or ulcers along the edges of the aligners.
Create a Good Routine
Creating a maintaining a good oral care routine is one of our biggest tips on how to make aligners more comfortable. Every patient is unique and has their ways. Once you figure out what works for you, you must stick to it!
Achieving good results from clear aligners is about staying consistent with your good habits, even when it’s hard. You need to keep your aligner in, keep your mouth and aligner clean, and maintain these habits as part of your daily routine. The great thing about clear aligners is that although you may experience some discomfort, the process is relatively short, and patients always say the results were worth the effort.
Why Are Clear Aligners Uncomfortable?
To understand the answer to “Why are clear aligners uncomfortable?”, it is essential to know how clear aligners work. Just like any time you start a new exercise program or use your body in a new way, you will often feel soreness in the targeted areas. This is because your body is not accustomed to the forces being applied and begins to adapt. This is the same when aligning your teeth.
Clear aligners work in stages to align your teeth; they are precisely engineered to apply small amounts of force as they fit over your teeth. With each new aligner tray, the aligner’s shape is slightly different to move your teeth into the desired position slowly. Patients experience the most significant discomfort when they wear their aligners for the first time or switch to a new aligner tray or stage. The changes occurring in your mouth produce an inflammatory response; soreness and discomfort are normal. As your teeth move and adapt to the changes, the discomfort usually subsides.
How Do I Make Clear Aligners More Comfortable in the First Week?
The first week can be very uncomfortable for some. As the aligner applies force to your teeth and they begin to shift for the first time, it can be painful. But fear not, here are some quick and easy tips on how to make aligners more comfortable in your first week or when changing to a new aligner tray.
Use Pain Relief Medication
Many of our customers not only want to know how to make retainers more comfortable, but how they can do it quickly. It can be tempting to pop your aligner off for pain relief in your first week, but it is essential to develop good habits and keep them on for the benefit of your teeth. Instead, you can make clear braces more comfortable with pain relief medication. While this is not the best long-term solution, pain medication can provide fast and effective relief while you settle into your new routine wearing your aligners. Be sure to double-check with your dentist and relevant medical professionals to determine the correct pain relief for you.
Eat Soft and Cold Foods
Also, during this initial period or when changing to a new aligner tray, your teeth may feel tender and sore. You may find it hard to eat particularly crunchy or chewy foods. Instead, opt for softer foods that require less chewing from your teeth. Additionally, you can have cold food and drinks, which will help soothe your teeth, gums, and other ulcerated areas.
Take it Easy
It is important to remember that while we may battle through the pain, it is still important to be kind to yourself and slowly adjust to your new aligners. These tips are great at providing some relief from the pain and discomfort, but it is also important to rest and take it easy. You may find it hard to concentrate, sleep or exercise during the first few days. Although it may be frustrating, taking a step back and giving yourself time to adjust will help you in the long term. Before you know it, you will be back to full steam and not even notice your aligners.
Keep Your Aligners In!
Our best tip on how to make aligners more comfortable is to keep them in! Anyone who has had aligners before knows the feeling; your mouth hurts, and you want to take them off. The best thing you can do is keep them on. Your aligners work in gradual steps and need to be worn 20-22 hours per day to be effective. When you start falling below this amount of time, your teeth gradually regress away from the desired alignment. The less you wear the aligners, the longer the process is going to drag on. While every patient is different, the quickest way to get rid of your aligners and all the discomfort is to keep them in!
Comfortable with EZ Smile Today!
When you choose EZ smile for your clear aligner journey, we are with you every step of the way. Our expert team are here to fit you with precisely engineered aligners that feel great and produce outstanding results. Whenever you have any questions, problems, or discomfort, we are here with a wealth of advice and expertise to get you through. For more information, try our free 30-second assessment or get in touch with our team today