How Does Invisalign Work?

Medically Reviewed By
Jonathan G. Campbell, DDS, FAGD
One of the top rated Dentist in Salt Lake City, UT

Invisalign is a popular orthodontic treatment that utilizes clear aligners to gradually shift teeth into their ideal positions. Understanding how Invisalign works is essential for those considering this modern approach to teeth straightening.

Is Invisalign Treatment Painful?

Addressing the common concern of pain during Invisalign treatment is crucial for setting realistic expectations. While discomfort is to be expected, especially with each new set of aligners, it's important to understand the reasons behind Invisalign-related pain.

Causes of Pain due to Invisalign Treatment

One of the most common questions from patients starting Invisalign treatment is whether it hurts. Soreness is typical, particularly when transitioning to a new set of aligners. As your teeth gradually move into their ideal positions, orthodontic force is applied, resulting in discomfort. The most acute pain is often experienced when switching to a new set of trays, which may feel tight initially.

Invisalign-related pain can manifest as a sore jaw, tongue cutting, or discomfort from changing bite patterns. Adjusting to new bite patterns may put pressure on teeth not previously engaged in chewing, leading to a learning curve in eating habits.

Teeth Braces vs Invisalign

Understanding the differences between traditional braces and Invisalign is essential for individuals considering orthodontic treatment. While braces use metal brackets and wires, Invisalign offers a more discreet and removable option with clear aligners.

How to Deal With Invisalign Pain?

For those experiencing discomfort during Invisalign treatment, here are some practical tips:

Choose Soft Foods in Your Diet

Opt for softer foods that are easier to chew, reducing pressure on your teeth during the adjustment period.

Use Orthodontic Wax

Applying orthodontic wax can help alleviate irritation caused by aligners rubbing against the cheeks or lips.

Use Cold Compress over the Painful Area

Applying a cold compress can help reduce swelling and numb the area, providing relief from pain.

Switch to New Trays Before Bedtime

Changing aligners before bedtime allows for adjustment while you sleep, minimizing disruption during waking hours.

Use Aligner Retrieval Tools to Remove Aligners

Addressing intrinsic tooth stains may require specialized treatments:

Designation of Your Invisalign Provider Matters

Choosing a qualified and experienced Invisalign provider ensures proper treatment planning, reducing the likelihood of complications and discomfort.

Use Invisalign Chewies

Chewies help seat aligners properly and may reduce initial discomfort by promoting a better fit.


Invisalign is an effective and convenient orthodontic solution, but it's important to understand the potential for discomfort during the adjustment period. With the right information and proactive measures, managing Invisalign-related pain can become more manageable. If you have questions or concerns about Invisalign treatment, consult with your trusted dental professional for personalized guidance.

Legacy Dental blog is proudly run by our Salt Lake City dentists team; We share knowledge about general dental care and practices. Apart from running this blog, we offer various dental services such as general dentistry, emergency dentistry, and dental implants for the community in Salt Lake City, Utah

How to reach us in and around Salt Lake City, Utah

Monday: 8.00am – 8:00pm
Tuesday: 8.00am – 8:00pm
Wednesday: 8.00am – 8:00pm
Thursday: 8.00am – 8:00pm
Friday: 8.00am – 5:00pm
Saturday: 8.00am – 2:00pm
Skip to content