Does Invisalign Hurt?

 Dr. Kurtz | January 6, 2023

When teeth are properly aligned, the upper arch should slightly overlap the lower arch, but research shows that around 75% of people have some level of malocclusion. This is a condition that can manifest in several different ways:

  • Crowded teeth
  • Crooked teeth
  • Insufficient room for all teeth to erupt
  • Misalignment of upper and lower arches when biting down
  • When left untreated, a malocclusion- no matter how mild- can cause a variety of issues, including:
    • Jaw pain
    • Difficulty biting/chewing food
    • Gum disease
    • Enamel damage
    • Tooth decay
    • Uneven tooth wear
    • Difficulty speaking
    • Mouth breathing

If you have mild to moderate malocclusion, let Dr. Jeremy Kurtz and the staff at Invisalign Toronto help. Dr. Kurtz has completed more than 4,000 Invisalign cases and was named a Diamond provider (top 1%) in 2022.

What is Invisalign?

Invisalign was introduced to the market in the late 1990s as an alternative to traditional metal braces. This system is a series of clear aligners that gradually move teeth into their appropriate positions in the jaw.

On average, treatment with Invisalign takes 12 to 18 months. Patients with very mild malocclusion may see results within 6 months, while those with more complex malocclusion may require up to 24 months. Most patients do start seeing results within the first few months.

Does Invisalign Hurt?

While most patients will agree that Invisalign is more comfortable, the truth is that there is some level of discomfort and pain with all orthodontic treatments. After all, your teeth are being pressed into their appropriate position within the jaw which can cause aches and pains. Some patients even find that they grind their teeth with Invisalign, which can cause jaw pain.

The good news is that the pain with Invisalign is typically mild and not everyone experiences pain. If you do have pain, it could be due to several reasons:

  • Low pain tolerance
  • Gingivitis
  • Sensitive teeth/gums

Even if you do experience pain, it should be tolerable. If you do have excruciating pain at any point, you should contact the office as soon as possible so that we can determine what is happening.

How long does it hurt?

Most Invisalign patients who do experience pain and discomfort report that it typically only lasts 2 to 3 days after switching to a new set of aligners. Since you must change to a new set of aligners every 1 to 3 weeks, you'll probably have some discomfort for the first few days with each new aligner. However, as you get adjusted to wearing the aligners, you may find that the pain and discomfort becomes less noticeable.

When is pain with Invisalign a concern?

If the pain is severe or lasts for more than 5 days, it is a concern. Additionally, pain with other symptoms such as bleeding gums, fever, swelling, radiating pain, throbbing pain, or difficulty speaking or swallowing should be addressed by Dr. Kurtz and the team.

Tips for Dealing with Invisalign Pain

If you do have pain with your aligners, there are some things you can do to cope with it.

  • Wear the aligners as directed

    Invisalign aligners should be worn for 20 to 22 hours a day from the start. If you follow these instructions, you are much more likely to get used to wearing them. While you may remove them to eat/drink and brush/floss teeth, it's important to leave them in even when you're experiencing pain/discomfort.

  • Put new aligners in at bedtime

    When it's time to switch to a new set, change them out just before bedtime. This will help to reduce discomfort because your teeth and jaw will adjust to them while you are sleeping.

  • Drink cold water or use a cold compress

    Sucking on ice cubes or drinking cold water can effectively soothe tooth pain associated with Invisalign clear aligners, while a cold compress can help with jaw pain.

  • Orthodontic wax

    While the aligners are smooth, sometimes the edges may be rough or sharp on your gums- especially if yours are extremely sensitive. You can resolve this problem with orthodontic wax. Simply pinch off a piece and soften it by rolling it in your fingers. Then, apply it to the area that is causing problems.

  • Change eating habits

    Some patients experience single-tooth pain because one tooth is under more pressure due to being pushed into a new position within the jaw. Try eating on the opposite side of your mouth until the pain subsides. Also, consider eating soft foods while you get used to wearing the aligners.

  • OTC pain relievers

    If nothing else is helping, OTC pain relievers may be an option. Make sure that you only take it as directed

Is Invisalign Worth It?

While there is some mild to moderate pain and discomfort associated with Invisalign clear aligners, there are several benefits that make the pain worth it.

First of all, the pain is much lower than it would be with traditional metal braces. After all, there are no brackets or wires to scrape the inside of your mouth.

Second, the pain is from the teeth being shifted into their appropriate positions within the jaw. This will leave you with a straighter smile. Also, gum health will be improved, and tooth decay reduced because it's much easier to clean teeth than it is to clean teeth that are misaligned.

Finally, malocclusion can be detrimental to your confidence- which can cause you to avoid social situations and may even cause you to stop smiling. However, Invisalign can resolve your mild to moderate malocclusion, which can significantly boost your confidence.

When Should You See an Orthodontist?

If you have any malocclusion, it's important to see an orthodontist as soon as possible. If left untreated, malocclusion can lead to a variety of issues.

Schedule a consultation with Dr. Kurtz and the team at Invisalign Toronto will be happy to evaluate your condition to determine if you qualify for Invisalign treatment. If so, we will establish a personalized treatment plan and move forward with treatment.

We are located at  350 Front Street and 485 Lawrence Avenue W. Our office hours are Monday through Thursday 9:00 AM to 6:00 PM and Friday 9:00 AM to 2:00 PM.


Dr. Kurtz and the team at Invisalign Toronto get a lot of questions when it comes to Invisalign. We are more than happy to discuss your questions and concerns. Some of the most common questions we hear include the following:

  • Can you eat with Invisalign?

    Invisalign clear aligners are designed to be removed while eating to avoid getting food stuck in them or damaging them. This prevents patients from having to implement dietary restrictions while undergoing treatment.

  • How long does Invisalign take?

    Research shows that Invisalign takes an average of 12 to 18 months to fully resolve malocclusion. For patients who have very mild malocclusion, this timeline may be reduced to approximately 6 months. For patients with very complex malocclusion, this timeline may take up to 24 months. Most patients start to see results within the first few weeks of treatment.

  • How does Invisalign work?

    Invisalign clear aligners is a series of BPA-free, clear plastic aligners that gradually shift teeth into their appropriate position. Each aligner is custom-made to fit the patient's teeth and is slightly different, which is what pushes the teeth. Each set should be worn for 1 to 3 weeks based on your personalized treatment plan.

  • How to clean Invisalign?

    When you remove Invisalign to eat or to brush and floss your teeth, you should clean the aligners before putting them back in. In order to properly clean your aligners, you should use a soft-bristled toothbrush and clear soap to remove any food particles that have accumulated. This should be done daily, even if you can't see any particles on them.

  • How much does Invisalign cost?

    The cost of Invisalign treatment varies based on the complexity of your malocclusion. At Invisalign Toronto, treatment starts at $2,900.

  • Can Invisalign fix an overbite?

    Yes. Invisalign is effective for resolving mild to moderate overbite.

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