woman holding clear aligner smiling listening to orthodontist

How to Deal With Invisalign Sharp Edges & Irritation

Invisalign is a great way to straighten your teeth without the need for traditional metal braces, but that doesn't mean they aren't without their own challenges. Invisalign pain is one such challenge, and it is typically caused by sharp edges that cause mouth sores and abrasions.

While your mouth will adapt as you get used to wearing clear aligners, it is common to experience this discomfort when you begin your treatment. If you are experiencing pain due to Invisalign sharp edges, keep reading and we’ll show you some easy methods to make your trays much more comfortable. Here's what we'll cover:

  • Is there anything I can do to help fix Invisalign sharp edges?
  • Is it okay to smooth the edges of my trays with an emery board?
  • What are some other remedies for Invisalign sharp edges and irritation?
  • What should I do if my aligners are still causing discomfort?

Text: The Essential Invisalign Starter Kit. View Product. Image: Movemints Clear Aligner Mints, Aligner Cleaning Spray, Teeth Whitening Pen, Pul Tool Aligner Removal, Retainer Case & Floss Picks

Is There Anything I Can Do to Help Dull Invisalign Sharp Edges?

If you just started wearing clear aligners and notice that there is a pinching or a sharp edge, don’t panic! There are plenty of options to alleviate those spots, the first of which is dental wax for Invisalign. Dental wax is most commonly used for metal braces but it is a great remedy for patients who find that Invisalign is cutting their tongue.

To use dental wax on your clear aligners, simply remove your trays, place the dental wax around the sharp part of your aligner to cover the edge, and then replace your aligner. Once the sharp edge is covered, you should start experiencing immediate relief. 

Is it Okay to Smooth the Edges of My Aligners With an Emery Board?

If dental wax doesn't solve the issue, you can slightly modify your aligners to better fit around your gums. This solution is best done under the guidance of your dentist or orthodontist, but it is possible to smooth down problem areas on your aligners.

After consulting with your orthodontist, they may recommend that you smooth the edges of your aligners with an emery board (also known as a nail file). In some cases your orthodontist may recommend that you alter your aligners with a small pair of vanity scissors and then proceed to file down the sharp edges with the emery board. This should only be done with the advice of your orthodontist. If you find that you have to cut a small part of your aligner away, remember to be careful. You can always cut away more if you need to, but you can’t add back a part that you have already removed.

An orthodontic professional uses a mechanical file to smooth Invisalign sharp edges

Overall, it is important to be careful when making these adjustments. Your Invisalign clear aligners are valuable and custom made for your smile journey. A misstep while trying to alter them could set you back weeks in your treatment. This is why most dentists or orthodontists will offer to make these alterations for you, so you can be sure not to damage your Invisalign.

What Are Some Other Remedies For Invisalign Sharp Edges & Irritation?

After trying dental wax and minor alterations, there are still a few more ways to deal with pain from sharp edges on your clear aligners

woman using ice pack for tooth pain

Should pain related to sharp edges on your aligners persist, call your orthodontist and schedule a check-in. Only a professional will be able to determine exactly why your aligners are causing you consistent pain. Until your next appointment, here are a few remedies to reduce pain in the short term:

  1. Use an ice pack or chew on aligner-friendly mints for pain relief:  If pain persists, ice is always a good way to get some aligner pain relief. By using an ice pack on the outside of your mouth near the affected area, you can reduce soreness. Just be careful not to use an ice pack for too long or you could potentially injure yourself due to overexposure. Chewing exercises are another way to relieve Invisalign pain relief and discomfort, which is why we created Movemints® Clear Aligner Mints. Movemints are a great alternative to Invisalign chewies and can help you wear your aligners more comfortably while they freshen breath and fight Invisalign dry mouth. Chew them gently while wearing your Invisalign to seat your trays, and enjoy the soothing effect that comes when blood flow is stimulated to your teeth and gums.
  2. Cut out any crunchy foods: If you are already experiencing discomfort, you want to avoid making the situation worse at all costs. Because of this, you should avoid any crunchy foods or foods that you know will irritate your gums. Any time your aligners are causing you discomfort, reach for softer foods to give your gums a break.
  3. Always put in a new pair of aligners before bed: When you switch aligners, typically every two weeks, it can be painful for the first 24-48 hours as your teeth adjust. To mitigate the discomfort associated with a new pair of aligners, make the switch just before bed. That way, your teeth and gums will have time to get used to the new aligners while you are asleep. When you wake up the next morning, your teeth will already be adjusting to the new aligner tray.

What Should I Do If My Aligners are Still Causing Discomfort?

Maintain an open conversation with your orthodontist about any issues you are having with your Invisalign clear aligners

young woman clutching jaw due to tooth pain

If you followed all of our tips and are still experiencing discomfort due to Invisalign sharp edges, you should definitely schedule an appointment with your orthodontist right away. Only a professional will know how to get a better fit for your aligners. They may also be able to determine the cause of your discomfort and address the problem in their office. Overall, Invisalign should not be a painful experience, so if you are experiencing pain or discomfort, you should let your orthodontist know.

For more Invisalign tips and tricks, check out our Movemints blog to answer every question you have about straightening your teeth with clear aligners!

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