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Does Invisalign Hurt? Let’s Straighten Out the Rumours

If you’re looking for the perfect solution to straighten your teeth, I’m sure you’ve heard about the wonders that Invisalign can do for you. However, a number of people put off booking that all-important first consultation due to concerns whether ‘does Invisalign hurt’?

There’s always a lot of gossip and rumours when it comes to the dentist. This can lead to unnecessary anxiety which in turn leads to missing out on the opportunity to have the perfect smile.  Nobody likes discomfort, but people want straight great looking teeth. Luckily for you, a lot of these rumours are completely false.

During Invisalign treatment, there are four opportunities where the question usually pops up. These are during interproximal reduction (IPR), attachment placement, after aligner changes, and retention, so we’ll cover them all.

In this article, we’ll look at the stages of Invisalign and every step of where ask ‘Does Invisalign hurt?’ You may be pleased with the results.

does invisalign hurt

Does IPR for Invisalign hurt?

IPR stands for interproximal reduction.

We do IPR during Invisalign treatment if you have crowded teeth. It’s the reshaping of the sides surfaces, the part of the teeth which touch those next door. The aim here is to create a little more space in your mouth to relieve the crowding and allow for straightening.

The IPR stage doesn’t hurt, but it’s a funny sensation. We pass thick floss between your teeth and the friction created can feel weird.

If you need IPR it’s normally done on the first fitting appointment, and then every few months through your treatment.

Does Invisalign hurts with attachments?

Attachments are small buttons of composite filling material temporarily cemented onto the fronts of your teeth while you’re undergoing Invisalign treatment. They give the trays something to push against to help your teeth move.

Placing Invisalign attachments is straightforward. Your teeth are washed and dried, then the attachment is placed.

There will be no pain, but the air may be slightly sensitive on some teeth. If you have a sensitive tooth then let your dentist know before application and they can easily prevent this.

Do the Invisalign aligners hurt?

do the aligners hurt

You will have a slight ache every time you change your Invisalign aligners. Cherish this ache, it means that your teeth are straightening! It happens as your new tray puts pressure on the teeth.

The ache only lasts a few days. Take paracetamol or ibuprofen and this will be enough to take the edge off.

Occasionally there may be a sharp edge on an aligner from the manufacturing process. If this is the case then call your orthodontist and they can smooth this down. Alternatively, a nail file can do the trick.

Does Invisalign hurts during retention?

do retainer hurt

Retention is the process of holding your teeth into position after they’re straight. It stops them from relapsing.

And again, no it doesn’t hurt is the straight answer.

Retention is either done with trays similar to what you’ll have been wearing, a fixed wire behind your teeth or a combination of both.

If you opt for removable trays you’ll be used to them. If you use a fixed wire, your tongue may be irritated by it for a few days but this soon stops.

So, the big question…

Does Invisalign hurt?

Invisalign is generally an uncomplicated, pain-free process that has delivered straight teeth to millions of people across the world. Don’t let rumours and gossip hold you back from having the smile of your dreams.

If you are interested in joining them and want to find out more about the process or the science behind how Invisalign works then follow the link.


Dr Gareth Edwards BDS (Hons) MFDS RCPS (Glasg) qualified as a dentist with honours. Now providing Invisalign Bournemouth, he has a keen interest in aesthetic dentistry including orthodontics.