Living with Invisalign: Oh the Discomfort!

I’ve been wearing my Invisalign about six months now, and I think I’ve build up enough “cred” as an Invisalign patient to speak with a bit of authority on the process of living with aligners.

Entering the Invisalign process, I was worried least about the pain. I knew it was going to hurt sometimes; if my teeth are moving, they’re going to be sore. Having worn Invisalign through 15 aligner cycles, I can say that the pain is about what I expected, and most of the time even less. In 15 cycles I’ve had to pop Advil maybe twice, three times at the most. I find actually like a little soreness. Sore teeth tell me that my aligners are working when the visual evidence is often frustratingly incremental.

The aligners hurt most (if at all) during the first couple days of a new cycle. Makes sense, right? A new set of aligners means new tooth movement. Usually the soreness lasts a day or two, but each aligner is different. Some hurt more than others, some don’t hurt much at all. With set 14, I experienced residual soreness for almost a whole week, but with 15, my teeth are pain-free only two days after the new aligner.

Using my powers of observation, I’ve managed to come up with some strategies to minimize the pain of a new aligner set. The most painful set was, oddly enough, the first. That was because I got it on in the morning before work and had to take it out for lunch only a few hours later. In my experience, the new aligner set doesn’t hurt going on, but rather, it hurts the most the first time you take it off. The sooner you remove a new aligner for the first time, the more your teeth will hurt… especially when you put the set back on.

Are we there yet?In order to minimize the pain of the new aligner set, my very successful strategy has been leaving the new set on as long as possible. Once, I even left a new set on almost 24 hours before taking it off for the first time (I was on vacation). Ordinarily, though, I can manage to wear a new set 14 to 16 hours before taking it off the first time. My job is second shift, so my hours are a little skewed, but the same strategy could easily be mapped to a 9-to-5 schedule.

When I get home from work, I make dinner, I take my aligners out and I clean them in a Polident bath with the new aligner set while I eat. I get home around 10:45pm, so I’m usually done with dinner and ready to put the new set in by midnight. I pop in the new set, gnaw on my aligner chewies awhile to make sure it’s good and tight (a note on chewies below), I go to bed and then I endeavor to leave them on as long as possible. Yes, this means eating no breakfast. I’m not a big breakfast fan to begin with, though I do enjoy coffee most mornings. I skip it the morning of my new aligners and drink hot water instead. This strategy also means I can’t brush my teeth in the morning. Oh the humanity! Actually, it’s not really a problem. I do an extended rinse with hydrogen peroxide (with the aligners still in) to kill bacteria and then do a light brush over the aligners with a wet toothbrush. If I need to get close to people during the morning and early afternoon (e.g. if I have a lesson or meeting), I pop a mint and get no complaints.

I’m usually ready for lunch (remember, my schedule is second shift) around 3:00pm or 4:00pm. I take out my aligners for the first time, and while my teeth are usually a little sore, it’s much better than if I had taken them out earlier (I once removed a new set for my morning coffee and regretted it). As I said earlier, I’ve only taken two or three doses of Advil over 15 sets. Once was the very first aligner, once was on the first day of the aforementioned aligner 14, and once was… well, I don’t remember specifically, but I’m allowing for the possibility of a third just for the sake of over-estimation.

Otherwise, the aligners are comfortable… okay, I’ve said that before, but after adjusting to them as a way of life, I think it bears repeating. If asked about the precise sensation of wearing Invisalign on a daily basis, I would be most inclined to compare the wearing of aligners to the wearing of shoes. Wearing shoes is comfortable, but noticeable (unlike, say, the wearing of soft contacts). If we’re not thinking about the fact that we are wearing shoes, then it’s not in the front of our brains, but if we stop to think about it, then we can definitely feel our shoes. They’re not uncomfortable, but they’re there. Same with the aligners. They don’t disappear onto my teeth like contact do onto my eyes, but they’re comfortable.

The only significant trouble I’ve had with comfort is my own bad habit of grinding the aligners when I’m tense. It’s not bad for my teeth (the aligners are protecting them, after all), and it’s not bad for my aligners (some doctors online even say grinding your aligners helps the Invisalign process), but it’s not a picnic for my jaw. I don’t realize when I start doing it, but once I start it’s hard to stop until I have an opportunity to take them out and start over. I’ve trained myself not to grind so much, but on occasion I still do. It’s a bigger problem toward the end of the aligner cycle when the aligners aren’t so tight. I don’t grind when the aligners are new and the fit is hard (i.e. the aligners feel “hard” on my teeth because they are tight), but as my teeth move and adjust to the new set, the aligners feel “softer” and I am more prone to grinding them.

Otherwise, my Invisalign process has been smooth sailing. After 15 aligners, I have really experienced no problems, save for my own grinding and an occasional rough edge (which can just be filed down).

One note about new aligners, however. I remember when I was first researching Invisalign, one blogger said that from one aligner set to the next, they just stopped fitting. One aligner fit, the next one didn’t. In this instance, the orthodontist has to retool his/her strategy, take new impressions and order a new set of aligners. I know this can happen, and I’m not worried about it, except insomuch that it may add additional time to my overall treatment schedule.

That said, I can’t help but wonder if such retoolings can be avoided with the avid use of chewies. For at least the last four aligners, they have not fit my teeth when I first put on a new set. I pop them on as best I can, but with my fingers alone, I can’t get them to sit snug to my teeth and snap to my attachments. Perhaps an Invisalign retool is on the horizon for me, but for now, I have had great success simply chewing the aligners in place with my aligner chewies. I say once again, I’m not sure how people go through Invisalign without the chewies. If it weren’t for chewies, I would probably not be able to get my new sets for fit right away. So, hooray for chewies once more!

68 thoughts on “Living with Invisalign: Oh the Discomfort!

  1. My ortho was a lot more generous with the trays (he gave me 80) and my treatment is to last 2 years. And yes! It hurts a lot when you switch trays and I grind my teeth too. It hurts the most when I take them off and forget to put them on for a few hours.

  2. I been wearing my aligner for almost a year; I’m on #23 out of 25. I wasn’t wearing them the way I should so I had to get fitted for new top sets. Not sure how the top got out of line and not the bottom. It is important to wear them the 22 hours a day. Because I didn’t wear them correctly I have to wear the top longer. There is pain and soreness, it the price of beauty. I would recommend the aligner; the benefit out weights the pain. I am happy with the process. It takes discipline but when you think of how much it cost, its not hard to be discipline. I have before and after pictures and once I’m finish I will post on FB.

  3. This artilce helped me immensely. I just got my aligners yesterday and my teeth are very sore. I am going to follow the advice about not taking them out so frequently. I’m really going to have to change my eating schedule. I may just try juicing.

  4. Thank you. I wear them 20 -22 hours a day. But I will try more for 22. I will try your suggestion on chewies. Wasn’t sure what to do with them. I never ground my teeth before invisilgn but I am doing it now. So that is where the jaw pain is from. I do try not to do that. I will try your suggestion of not taking them out for 20 – 24 hours with the new ones. Fast that day – I guess.

  5. My suggestion wasn’t for leaving them in 20 hours straight. Just put the new ones in right after dinner, maybe skip breakfast if you can the next day, and then take them out before lunch. Do you have the SmartTrack aligners?

  6. Thank you, this article has been really helpful. Just got my aligners on yesterday. My front teeth have felt quite sore since. Kind of like a tingly pressure pain in my gums. To be expected I guess. Have found them comfortable enough sleeping at night. But struggling to speak clearly, definitely have a bit of a lisp going on! Have been told this may last 2 weeks. Has anyone else experienced this? Mildly embarrassing. :)

    • Has anyone you interact with in your daily life commented on the lisp? It may be that you notice it, but no one else does. When I first got my aligners, I could tell when it limited my speech, but no one else noticed. I even asked my co-workers to be brutally honest (I have a job when I have to talk A LOT) so that I could be on top of the situation, but they said they heard no lisp at all. If people are noticing and commenting on your lisp, I’d advise just acknowledging the Invisalign and moving on. “Oh, yeah, that’s just because I’m doing Invisalign.” For me, the aesthetic advantage of the Invisalign was that it’s attractive, not that it’s a secret. Very few people noticed my aligners during the treatment, but when they did, I just said it was Invisalign and maybe even chatted about the process a little if they were interested. It’s only embarrassing if we feel like we’re trying to hide something.

  7. My most serious worry is actually about the speech lisp! Would it go away fast? I have to talk quite a lot at work, and it annoys me and is embarrassing when I can’t pronounce certain consonants (e.g. the “s”) properly or talk too fast. Anyone has experience in this respect?

    • I’ve gathered that different people have different degrees of lisp with the Invisalign. I never had too much of a lisp. When I first had them, my co-workers said that they did not hear a lisp (though, they did catch me grinding the aligners, saying I had a very serious jaw-setting look about me). I’ve actually had more trouble getting used to speaking WITHOUT the aligners now that I don’t wear them anymore. I have had to become more careful and deliberate in my speech or else I’ll “trip” over certain words.

      If you have to speak a lot at work (I’m a teacher, so I have to speak all day to my students, both one-on-one in private lessons, and publically in group classes), and nobody ever said anything. It may sound worse to you than to other people. I think the key is just not to be embarrassed. I know that sounds easier said than done, but I would say just pretend it isn’t happening. If people notice it enough to comment on it, just say “Oh, that’s just my Invisalign” and keep talking about whatever you were talking about before. If people care that much about your speech, it’s their problem, not yours.

  8. The lisp doesn’t last long at all, honestly mine was gone by the next day, I was in highschool so there was a lot of talking to get used to it. Just a tip for anyone just finishing them, don’t stop wearing them when you’re done. continue to wear the trays at night, I continued wearing them on the occasion that I thought they were moving back and eventually stopped entirely. The dentist has suggested to try and fit in the last try and wear it until the teeth move back and it is absolutely terrible. My top and bottom teeth can’t even touch without pain. Just make sure you keep to it even after you’re finished.

    • Meagan, I’m surprised your Invisalign provider didn’t make you a retainer? My orthodontist made me a retainer out of much tougher stuff than the aligners (they would be pulverized by now if I had been wearing them every night!), and even two years after completion, he advises me to continue wearing them every night. He doesn’t have to convince me it’s necessary — if I skip even one night by accident, those retainers are mighty tight! Every good treatment plan should include at least 18 months of retention to follow, maybe more. If I stopped wearing my aligners now, I have no doubt my teeth would try their darnedest to go back to their old crooked ways.

  9. Great post! Just got mine yesterday. Really feeling that sore tingle. Don’t mind it at all but for some reason I keep biting my tongue! They feel perfectly tight so wonder why that is?!

    Anyway, I don’t need attatchments until my 3rd aligner. I’m really worrying about them! My top lip doesn’t naturally close so my front two teeth are always on show and I’ve got to have attatchments on those. Has anyone had experience with them? Are they massively obvious?! Interested in whether they are really obvious with aligners off too.

    • I had two attachments on one of my front teeth during the first set of refinements. I had attachments on my front incisors for the initial course of treatment. They are visible if you look, yes. But what I discovered is that most people aren’t paying enough attention to notice. We all scrutinize our own looks to the Nth degree, but most people just aren’t paying that much attention to us so to notice some bumps on our teeth. I had very few people notice over the course of time I was in treatment, but keep in mind, even when they do notice, they are noticing a teeth-straightening system that’s a hell of a lot more attractive than braces. In fact, when people did ask me about them, I welcomed the opportunity to talk about the Invisalign. Most people who knew about it congratulated me on making the decision to straighten; I heard a lot of “good for you!” Even if they are a bit noticeable, it’s not a bad thing. Invisalign isn’t about straightening your teeth in a super secret way, but rather, it’s about informed adults making the decision to fix their teeth in a super cool “space age” way that is also the most aesthetically un-intrusive way of doing so.

  10. I just got mine today and it is hard getting used to is at first. I find that to help me with pain I suck on icecube especially on the gums that hurt.

  11. So glad I found this post! Great tips I will be sure to follow! I started my Invisalign journey 4 days ago and today is probably the first non sore day for me. My major problem is an ulcer on the inside of my bottom lip where part of my aligner doesn’t sit flush on my teeth/gum so is constantly rubbing and irritating. Did you ever have problems with ulcers ? I did file it back to reduce the sharpness but it still sticks out (it’s my bottom eye tooth or my problem “fang” as I like to call it.. Hoping this isn’t a recurring problem :(

    • Aligners irritating the inside of the mouth are a consistent problem, but not a constant problem. You’ll probably have to do a little filing with each new set, but you’ll learn how to search and file problem areas before even putting them in the first time. Also, certain areas of your mouth will “toughen” from exposure (think of all the irritation people with traditional metal braces must deal with!). As for mouth sores and the like, I find that swishing with drug store hydrogen peroxide (you know, the stuff for first aid kits, about 3% peroxide by volume) helps them heal faster.

  12. So glad I found this post!
    I got my first set of Invisalign 1 week ago. So much pain! My jaw is also riddled with issues so the Invisalign is hopefully going to correct my bite enough that no further surgical treatment would be necessary. The little tooth attachments rub my lip when aligners are out, so I actually prefer them in I think. I have sooo much of that wax stuff along the bottom set as the rubbing was excruciating. I have been grinding hardcore and sleep is difficult. And thanks to my side bite and TMJ dysfunction, I have to do a lot of physio and ‘exercises’ which makes me almost cry at the moment as everything hurts! But thanks to your tips about the pain time frames and the Chewie things, there seems to be a glimmer of hope! I’ll have to go grab some chewies, do they sell them at the pharmacy? My orthodontist didn’t mention them.
    Congrats on getting through treatment! :)

    • Glad to be of help, Kat. You can only get the Chewies from your orthodontist. Maybe call them up and see if they have them. I never used the wax, I only ever filed the rough parts of my aligners down. I did buy a battery-powered nail filer so that I could file them more effectively and with less effort. The attachments will eventually get less sharp, but for now, the aligners are good protection. It sounds like you have a pretty complicated case; I hope you have an Invisalign Elite provider as an orthodontist. Good luck, and don’t be shy about taking ibuprofen if you can. It will decrease the pain and inflammation. If you have a regular primary care physician, he or she may be able to prescribe a higher dose of ibuprofen (my doc always gives me 800’s) to help with these painful stages of the treatment.

    • Hi Kat,

      I just got my first Invisalign aligners 5 days ago and I also have TMJ Dysfunction. My orthodontist told me that the Invisalign treatment shouldn’t make my TMJ worse or affect it, but I am still very worried as I read many stories/posts from people online saying how Invisalign caused them to have TMJ problems or made their existing TMJ condition worse. Prior to getting the braces I did some physical therapy where I had to do stretches to relax my tense jaw muscles and stretch out them out so there would be less pressure on my joints. Now I have to do jaw stretches twice daily every day for the rest of my life. Since you mentioned you are doing lots of physio and exercises, which kinds of exercises are you doing for your jaw may I ask? Also, I see you posted your comment about 10 months ago so I also want to ask how your treatment is going. Has your jaw gotten/felt worse than it did before or is it the same or having some improvements? Also, how do you deal with the tendency of your jaw to clench together due to tensing up more easily when wearing the aligners?

      Hope you see this and reply :)
      Thank you!

  13. Hi sarah I’ve been on my treatment since september 2015 and its February 15 2016 And i change my aligners every two weeks and it hurts like crazy sometimes i just wanna stop it all together but my parents paid money so i couldnt But ur advice really helped Thank u

  14. Just found this post—
    I am currently on aligner set 12! It’s been six months of treatment for me.

    I can honestly say I love my Invisalign & I would chose this again and again. Today my orthodontist asked me “better option than metal braces?” and I said, “yes, yes 100 times yes.”
    Invisalign has redeemed dentist offices for me- I enjoy going now and getting compliments on how my teeth have changed.

    I just got set 12 today, so my teeth are a little sore. I’m experiencing more soreness today than I have in the past. But like you mentioned- not bad, I would compare it to a muscle being sore from working out. It’s a good-sore.

    I personally love the feeling of new aligners, though– they feel so clean, tight and smooth!

    I work in an office, so I tend to have a habit of keeping the aligners out while I munch on snacks/lunch while working. However, after about a half hour, I notice that I “miss” the aligners in my mouth. The bottom edge of my teeth feel so sharp without them in, that I tend to miss the rounded edge the aligners give-
    Does that make sense?! Haha- I haven’t had to describe it in text before.

    congrats on finishing your invisalign :) I know I have at least 30 trays in total, and mine won’t be done until January 2017. Here’s a year of watching my teeth change!

  15. I put tray 11/24 in on Sunday night, it is Wednesday today and I am in agony, I have had aches on one side of my bottom jaw in two particular teeth, and can barely eat. Did anyone find that particular trays caused greater pain? I am worried that another visit to the Dentist is on the cards.

    • Yes, some trays caused greater pain than others, and also on certain teeth but not others. If you have the SmartTrack material, it moves the teeth gradually and so it is not strange to have pain a few days after putting in a new tray (with the old EX30 material, it was pretty much pain upfront, then abating throughout the week). Certainly, give your dentist’s office a call if it doesn’t get at least gradually better, but in the meantime, I would recommend ibuprofen, if you can take it (some people can’t for medical reasons). In my experience, ibuprofen makes a much bigger difference in tooth pain than other pain relievers (including codeine).

      • Certainly, some pain or discomfort is an obvious side effect of moving one’s teeth. If your trays fit, that’s an indication they are moving correctly. Of course any questions about usual pain and treatment success can only be answered by your orthodontist.

  16. Great read and really good tips thank you!
    I am on my second set of trays my top teeth ones are easy to remove with the hook tool they have given but I really struggle to remove my bottom tray.
    My teeth are very crocked and I have 9 attachments which makes it hard to get the trays over. Hoping once they straighten it may become easier.

    • Hey Lee I am the same – 2nd set now and my bottom is hard to get off and has 9 attachment ridges. I found that if I lift both side up the back then try to bend them forward and back, lifting from the back first, that seems to work best for me now.

  17. Oh this is very interesting thank you! I have just put in my 2nd set for the first time tonight.

    I hadn’t heard about the chewies. I’m actually being monitored by my dentist so I’ll see if he can source some for me at my week 8 catch up.

    I have definitely experienced the pain on my inner lip from the bottom fang aligner not sitting flush – sometimes. It’s weird because other times it’ll sit just fine.

    I am a little worried though as I haven’t been experiencing *any* pain from the teeth moving and I’m worried that maybe it isn’t working? I will have to wait to see what the dentist says.

    He has told me not to put anything in my mouth except water whilst they are in – so my daily snacking and tea routine is out the window but I have already started losing weight Hahahaha

  18. I just got my Invisalign yesterday and have 14 attachments. I don’t mind the soreness at all, but what I do mind is that I’m STARVING because I haven’t been able to get the lower one off. The top one will come off with a bit of maneuvering, but the bottom one simply won’t budge. I spent about an hour on it last night, and a good half an hour this morning. Can someone tell me how long it takes for it to loosen up a bit? I have been fasting now for almost 24 hours and this is no fun! Had to take caffeine pills this morning since I was unable to drink any coffee. :(

    • Try one of these aligner removal tools In the meantime, maybe try a plastic spoon for leverage, or hold warm-hot (meaning not boiling or piping hot) water in your mouth to soften the aligner. But if you really can’t get it off, you might want to call your doctor. Certainly, don’t starve with your aligner in. Eating and drinking with the aligners in isn’t impossible. Just inadvisable. I got to the point where I drank most types of cold beverages with the aligners in. The only reason they tell you not to is because some beverages will eventually stain the aligners. But if you’re only wearing them for two week, that’s not really enough time to develop noticeable stains. Eating with the aligners in isn’t exactly what I’d call a pleasurable experience, but it can be done in a pinch. It’s just important to keep your teeth and the aligners clean so that food doesn’t get trapped against your teeth.

      Also, that material is your aligner made of? SmartTrack or EX30? I didn’t think they used the latter anymore, and the SmartTrack should be pretty flexible and easy to maneuver.

  19. glad i found this sight. day 3 of my first aligner. experiencing all the negatives. sore teeth, cuts inside my mouth, my tongue is sore, and removing them is EXTREMELY STRESSFUL. i drool all over the place and i was sure i was not going to EVER get them off the first time. just ordered an outie and a chewy from amazon, looking forward to that shipment. it feels better to have them on as my teeth feel awful with all the attachment glue globs, they cut into the back of my lips and they are in the worst places. i have a high pain tolerance, but this is more like a nagging bug that you can’t get away from. mine are express, wonder if the means extreme?

  20. Glad I found your blog! I’m on day 1 of my first retainer! Got them yesterday but didn’t put them in until the evening, then wore them all night. Took them out to eat breakfast, cleaned my teeth and put them back in. They feel super tight and make me feel irritable. Hope this subsides!

  21. Hi,
    I will be starting my 5th tray today. My question is about the attachments as it seems there is very little information about what they are suppose to feel like? I have 15 attachments which are all very, very sharp like tiny cat claws inside my mouth that tear at the inside of my cheeks, lips and the side of my tongue when the trays are out to eat. Is this normal? I don’t ever leave the trays out for longer than it takes to eat my 3 meals a day, but my mouth is so sore from being torn up when I do have to take the trays out. Any advice? Thanks.

    • The attachments do feel very sharp at first. They will wear down the longer they are on. In the meantime, keeping your trays in as much as possible is a good idea. I have, personally, found that swishing with first-aid-type hydrogen peroxide helps with all types of mouth sores, including the damage done when I had Invisalign.

  22. I’ve had experienced extreme discomfort when changing my Trays, but as this post has stated if you wear them through the sore period. It subsides when you remove them it only makes the pain worse when reapplied. Best advice I can give is don’t take a break, push through the pain and get it over with. I took a month off in the middle of my trays 9 of 18 and experienced tremendous pain from taking the time off. So I encourage people who choose to do invislyn don’t give up or take breaks. (Speaking from experience)

  23. What a great blog! I’m on Day 2 with my first tray, feeling sore but it’s made such a difference reading so many stories of others going through the same thing. Is everyone out there brushing and flossing after EVERY snack, before putting the trays back in? Cuz man it’s making me think I should just eat bigger meals. Ha!

    • When I had my trays, yes, I brushed and flossed and swished mouthwash after every snack before putting the trays back in. A few rare occasions, in a pinch, I put the trays back in temporarily over dirty teeth, but it came to be a sort of OCD thing that wearing the aligners over dirty teeth drove me crazy.

  24. Glad I found this blog. Got mine in 4 days ago and taking them off is excruciating … even with 3 Advil all day. Ordered the tool but it doesn’t come till next week. Am so regretting doing this! Hurts to eat, huts all the time :( any more tips for pain?? Thanks!

    • Unusual amounts of pain should be addressed with your orthodontist. Perhaps you can increase your dose of Advil with his/her approval. My primary care physician has prescribed me ibuprofen 800’s on and off for years, so I’m never shy about taking four regular OTC Advil in one dose. Drinking a few mouthfuls of warm-hot water (i.e. the temperature of a cup of tea left for brew and cool off for a few minutes) before taking off the aligners can sooth your mouth and help loosen the aligners. Not too hot though! You don’t want to damage the aligners or burn your mouth.

    • Did your pain subside? I’m feeling in the same boat wondering if I will make it through treatmen …I’m on day 1 tray 1 so much pain when taking aligner off.

      • It’s always most painful when you first put in a new aligner. I would say, maybe, take whatever OTC pain reliever your doctor recommends preemptively when you put a new set in. I personally have found that ibuprofen works best for me for tooth pain.

  25. Great site. I’m on week 6 of 27 after which there will be 6 to 10 weeks of “refinement.” I’ve got the new 1 week accelerated trays. First 2 weeks were so hard. Mouth and tongue cut up. Now they file all my trays down before I leave the dentist. Best time is when I’m sleeping. I wake up to no pain. Pain comes later. This tray is worse than the last 3. My daughter had real braces as a child and said she had constant pain for two years! No relief. At least I can pop them out to eat, there is some relief there. I’m just so thrilled to finally be doing this that I’m ok with the pain. I take ibuprofen daily. Take the long view!

    • Right! As much as the aligners can have rough edges, I can only imagine having an actual metal appliance cemented to my teeth. Glad I had Invisalign as an adult and not braces as a child.

  26. i just started day 1. Just realizing how my gums are tender and i am challenged to take it off. I’m wondering should i even eat tonight.

  27. I’m doing the accelerated Invisalign’s, with the Propel treatment. New tray every three days, and no NSAIDs allowed, only Tylenol. I’ll do 37 trays in just under 4 months. Super painful the first day with a new tray, then when I’m used to it, time for a new one.

    • Good luck! The accelerated plan must be new since I had my trays, as I’ve never heard of it and I did a ton of research before and during my treatment. I’ll be interested to see if the accelerated plans work. There doesn’t seem to be any reason why they shouldn’t — as long as patients can stand the pain/annoyance of a different tray so often.

  28. This blog has been very helpful! I’m on day three of my first tray and have been experiencing so much discomfort in my teeth and sores on my tongue and inner checks. I’m sticking to the suggested 22 hrs… But fortunately my sores are now much better from swishing sea salt water in my mouth and also swishing separately diluted peroxide (careful not to swallow). Used wax on the sharp edges of trays which has also helped. Thanks for awesome idea to use electric nail filing! Will be ordering one from Amazon as soon as I finish typing. Super excited about finally fixing my teeth and not being self conscious!

    • In the meantime while you’re waiting for the electric nail file, you can use a regular emery board, it just takes a little more elbow grease. I, personally, found that peroxide was most effective. I use it for a lot of mouth issues. I’ve never had much luck with salt water.

  29. Hi there,
    I just got my first set yesterday and it hurts so much I can’t sleep and I cry when I take it off and whenever pressure is applied it hurts so excruciatingly bad!! I’m not sure weather I should take it off and stop wearing it or not because the information panflet that I have says if I experience excruciating pain I should stop wearing them and I am experiencing excruciating pain :( thoughts?

  30. Hello, I’m on my 4th tray out of 22 and I’ve had Ipr and propel done. I have 14 attachments. The pain when putting on the top tray has been excruciating (feels like being punched in the mouth everytime) but it’s been somewhat manageable with Tylenol 3. I was wondering if there was such thing as switching your trays too fast. I was told to switch each tray every week but I was thinking to try and do it everyday 3 or 4 days instead considering the pain hasn’t decreased anyway so why not have my treatment done sooner rather than later since it’s painful either way. Any thoughts?

    • Getting a new tray every week is pretty fast, and 22 is not too many — those 22 weeks will be over before you know it. Back when I had my original course of treatment, I had 42 trays and changed them every TWO weeks. Certainly ask your orthodontist for insight — any changes in your course of treatment should be approved by your doctor.

  31. I’m on day 3 of my first tray. The rough edges are the worst part for me. Just got my electric nail file from Amazon and it feels better. Warm salt water rinses are helping and I will try the Hydrogen Peroxide recommended here, thanks for that. I haven’t had any trouble removing or inserting my trays but I have acrylic nails, a bit on the short side. They make it pretty easy. I start in the back on both sides and lift forward. I have a total of 14 attachments, so I kind of peel the aligners off. I’m hoping to get more used to how intrusive the trays feel, but it’s early days for me. I got 31 trays total and will change once a week. Any how the acrylic nails are my best tip at this early stage!!

  32. Hi! I know this is a little old but hoping someone will see It! I got my first set of trays on Monday and on Tuesday I had to have my lower front tooth removed. He put the bottom trays on as soon as the tooth was out and then Wednesday and Thursday taking them out on the bottom made me cry, do you think that amount of pain was from the extraction and the tray together? I have to change mine every week and I am so scared to start a new tray lol. My top are fine but my bottom still hurt not as bad but still have to take advil because of the tightness I have to force them on a little. Thanks everyone

    • I didn’t have to have any teeth removed in the process for my Invisalign; in fact I chose one doctor over the other in part because he assured me I would not need any teeth pulled. I imagine having both done together would be particularly painful. If the pain seems unusually bad then you should consult your doctor

  33. On tray 1 and I have 48 trays, I am to change them WEEKLY. I think I’m being a big baby about this but this is so uncomfortable and now I’m like so easily agitated, too much stimuli stresses me and makes my attitude not the best. I have told myself that I’m going to quit but I haven’t. Reading this blog and posts has given me encouragement to keep going. Good to know I’m not alone.

    • Changing weekly is good! You’ll get through them faster. I had 42 trays in my initial course of treatment, but I only changed them every TWO weeks. What kind of discomfort are you having? If it’s pain, talk to your doctor about pain medicine (my PCP often prescribes Motrin 800’s when I am in an unusual amount of pain). If the aligners are rough around the edges, get an electric nail filer to smooth them out.

  34. Hello,
    I just started invisalign the other day, I’m still on my first tray, I’ve had some complications. Firstly I have quite the lisp going on, I can’t say “s/c” words. On top of the lisp the bottom tray is super sharp. So the bottom of my tongue is all cut up, so when I try and say s and c words I keep my tongue back, which makes the lisp even worse. I’m not sure what to do cause my tongue is in a lot of pain. Also the back of the top tray has very sharp edge that’s digging into the back of my mouth. Between those 3 things I don’t really want to talk anymore. Some advice would greatly appreciated.

    • Your lisp should improve as you get more accustomed to wearing the trays. As for the sharpness of the trays, you can file down the sharp edges using a common nail file. I actually invested in an electric nail file, since I needed to attend to 42+ different trays over the course of a few years.

  35. Really glad that I was ale to find such a great source. Today is my first day with my first tray. I just can’t seem to find a comfortable way to sleep with them in, any suggestions or ways that helped you. Alsohow often should you soak your trays for when you clean them. And one more thing, any suggestions on how to deal with soreness, because day one was not a fun experience with how sore I was. Hope you can get back to me soon.

    • I actually didn’t soak the trays all that often. Every week or two they were gone, anyway, so I usually just brushed them to clean them. If your trays are uncomfortable, it’s usually for one of two reasons. One is that simply moving the teeth produces soreness in your teeth and jaw. I have found that ibuprofen works best for me when I have any type of tooth ache or soreness. If your doctor says it’s okay for you to take ibuprofen, then I recommend taking it an hour before bedtime to help the soreness while you’re getting to sleep. On the other hand, if rough edges on the aligners are causing sores inside your mouth, you’ll need to file the rough edges smooth. I recommend investing in an electric nail file. It’s much easier and faster to file down the rough edges on each new aligner set. For healing sores caused by the rough edges, I found that swishing with 3% hydrogen peroxide worked the best for me to heal mouth sores quickly. I still use it if I get a mouth sore. Of course, make sure that all these treatments are okay with your doctor before you use them.

  36. Hi.. i just got my invisalign a couple days ago,I have to use elastics so i have them metal hooks on the inside of my top molars and the outside of my bottom molars . My tongue keeps on rubbing against it,will my tongue get used to it? Or will it be like this till the end?

    • Honestly, I don’t feel equipped to speak to that experience because I did not have hooks or elastics. Not sure what they are for, how they work, or how the mouth will acclimate to them. I imagine you will get somewhat accustomed to it, but that is more of a question for someone who completed a course of Invisalign that included the elastics. The only thing I can offer is my own home remedy for mouth sores, which is simply to swish with hydrogen peroxide. I discovered how well it works when I was doing the Invisalign, and I still use it for any mouth issues I have now.

  37. So glad I found this site and realize I am not alone. I am on day 8 of tray 1. I had braces as a child and only need 13 trays for 10 days to correct my issues. However, the pain is unbearable. I am a grinder and I must grind all night long. These trays are not nearly as protective as my mouth guard and I don’t know what else to do. I am popping 400 mg of Ibuprofen every 6 hours with mild relief.

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