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Is Invisalign Painful?

June 15, 2024
Is Invisalign Painful?

Invisalign® is an advanced orthodontic solution for adults and teens who want a beautiful smile without the drawbacks of traditional braces. The system uses comfortable, discreet plastic trays, with no metal brackets or wires to straighten teeth and improve smiles.

Invisalign treatment has been found to be less painful than braces, but occasionally, patients may experience mild discomfort. This temporary sensation sometimes happens at the beginning of treatment and as the teeth adjust to each new set of aligners. The slight discomfort and pressure should resolve within a few days.

How Invisalign Works

Doctors designed the Invisalign system to move teeth comfortably and efficiently. 

The system creates a graduated series of medical-grade plastic trays that the patient changes every one to two weeks. As the patient progresses through treatment, each tooth moves in stages, finishing in its ideal position. The progressive nature of the trays coupled with the capacity to move teeth individually increases movement efficiency and allows for precision movements.

Invisalign works on crooked, crowded teeth as well as gapped teeth. Patients with minor to moderate bite issues like overbite and underbite and some forms of cross-bite can also benefit from Invisalign. Fixing the bite can add years of longevity to your teeth and reduce the effects of clenching/grinding as well as routine wear. Correcting some bite issues may need additional tooth-colored attachments and elastic bands.

Benefits of Invisalign


When adults and teens want to straighten their teeth, they may hesitate because they do not want the extra attention braces can attract. With Invisalign, you can keep your treatment private. The aligners are not entirely invisible, but most people will not notice them.


The smooth plastic has no sharp edges, brackets, or wires to cut into delicate oral tissues.


Researchers have found that, when used correctly, Invisalign is as effective as braces. While there are benefits to using one method over the other, it has been found that the two methods are highly comparable in many circumstances.

Better Oral Health

Invisalign patients have a far easier time cleaning their teeth and gums, leading to better gum health and fewer cavities.

No Dietary Restrictions

Invisalign comes out when you eat, so you can have anything you like as long as you thoroughly clean your teeth before replacing your aligners. You will not need to avoid hard, crunchy, sticky, or chewy foods.

The Invisalign Process


At your initial Invisalign appointment, you can discuss your needs with your dentist and let them know what you wish to gain from treatment. 

Your dentist will assess your orthodontic issues and take multiple digital images with the iTero intraoral scanner. A computer combines digital photos into a 3-D model of your teeth and oral structures. The dentist can show you how your teeth will look at the successful close of treatment.


Using specialized software, the dentist designs what your smile will look like after treatment. They plan each tooth's movement and determine how to achieve the desired results. The software helps the dentist create the graduated aligners to move your teeth.


When the aligners return from the dental lab, your dentist will call you for a fitting. Your dentist will ensure the aligners are smooth and comfortable.

As the first aligner settles, you may feel mild discomfort for a few days while your teeth and gums adjust. Subsequent aligner changes will be easier.

Changing Aligners

Every one to two weeks, your dentist will instruct you to stop using the previous aligner and move on to the next in the series. You will visit the office approximately every four to six weeks for check-ups to verify that the teeth are moving in accordance with the prescription that your dentist made. 

After Treatment

After Invisalign treatment, you must wear a retainer as your dentist prescribes. A retainer allows your teeth to settle in their new positions and prevents the loss of your investment.

Good Candidates for Invisalign

Patients who have these characteristics may benefit from Invisalign:

  • Adults and older teens
  • No missing teeth
  • No uncontrolled gum disease or tooth decay
  • Ability to wear the aligners 20 to 22 hours daily
  • Excellent oral hygiene practices

Frequently Asked Questions About Invisalign

How do you clean Invisalign trays?

Keeping your trays clean is essential for successful treatment. The easiest way to keep aligners clean is to use branded cleaning crystals.

Alternatively, you can use clear liquid soap without dyes or fragrances. Brush your aligners gently with a baby toothbrush. Never use an abrasive toothpaste, or you will scratch the aligners. Denture cleaning tablets have also been found to aid in cleaning and removal of plaque.

Do I have to wear the aligners at night?

To ensure successful treatment, you must wear your aligners during sleep, 20-22 hours daily. The more your wear them the more predictably your teeth will move.

Contact Rush Family Dental

Invisalign can change your smile and impact your life in many positive ways. Enjoy a straighter, more functional and better-looking smile at any age. Please contact us at one of our convenient Phoenix-area locations today to schedule your Invisalign consultation.

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Rush Family Dental-Ahwatukee
4350 E. Ray Road, Building 3, Suite 112
Phoenix, AZ 85044
Rush Family Dental-Chandler
4909 S. Alma School Rd
Chandler, AZ 85248

Contact our office today to schedule your appointment.

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Rush Family Dental-Ahwatukee

4350 E. Ray Road, Building 3, Suite 112
Phoenix, AZ 85044

Rush Family Dental-Chandler

4909 S. Alma School Rd
Chandler, AZ 85248