The shape of each aligner is critical to the success of your treatment. If an aligner is damaged, it may not fit properly and could cause discomfort. Be careful when handling your aligners and avoid dropping them or sitting on them.
So any alteration to their fundamental shape could jeopardise the whole process. This is why you should also avoid chewing gum or eating sticky candy while wearing your aligners, as this can cause them to warp out of shape.
If the edges of the aligners rub or abrade your gums, this will also cause discomfort. You can use an emery board or soft nail file to smooth out any rough spots on the edges of your aligners. Or use dental wax.
What not to do
If you find that you are experiencing discomfort, removing your aligners for an extended period can be tempting, but this will actually set your treatment back. Each aligner is designed to move your teeth a specific amount, and if you skip ahead or fall behind, you may find that the next aligners don’t fit properly.
In the best case scenario, this will make your next aligner more uncomfortable. And in the worst case, you may have to start your treatment over from scratch.
If you are experiencing discomfort, it is best to consult with your orthodontist or aligner provider. They can help you determine the cause of the discomfort and find a solution. Don’t suffer in silence!
Over the counter pain-relief
Over the counter medication is a good way to get relief, in the short-term. Ibuprofen and acetaminophen are both effective at minimising discomfit. Be sure to follow the directions on the package and do not take more than the recommended dosage.
Bonjela ointment is a topical pain reliever that can be applied directly to the gums. It contains benzocaine, which numbs the area where it is applied. This can provide relief for people who are experiencing gum soreness from their aligners.
Alleviating discomfort with aligners
If you are considering aligner treatment, don’t let the fear of discomfort dissuade you. There are many things that you can do to minimise discomfort. With a little bit of planning, you can make your aligner treatment as comfortable as possible.