Does Clear Aligner Treatment Hurt?

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Summary: Generally speaking, what you’ll experience is that your teeth will feel tight or sore for a few days while they settle into their new position. Pain is a sign that realignment work is being done. You may also experience some discomfort in your teeth or gums. Still, it’s not something to worry about as the process will go on, and you’ll get used to wearing them over time. 

Clear aligner treatment has been around for a few years now. You may have heard of the clear aligner treatment becoming more and more popular in Australian orthodontic practices. If you are considering this treatment, you might be wondering if the process hurts. Many people are nervous about how much it will hurt, but there’s no reason to be.

Clear aligners are a treatment that is less invasive than traditional braces and has the potential to be more comfortable for many people. Just like other orthodontic treatments such as braces, some people may experience pain during their treatment, so it is possible that it may hurt your teeth as you wear them. 

If you have been considering clear aligner treatment for your teeth but are worried about how it might feel, this blog post is for you! 

What Are Clear Aligners?

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Now, more than ever, adults are finding success with a clear orthodontic device called aligners. These custom-built devices can correct alignment problems of varying severity and typically take around 18 months or less than two years to complete the process; this is a much shorter time frame than traditional braces.

This cutting-edge orthodontic device can correct minor problems with the teeth, like crowding or misalignment. It’s made of clear plastic that goes over your teeth and gradually shifts them into a better position with gentle pressure. It is advised that you wear it at least 20 to 22 hours per day throughout treatment until they’ve corrected the problem.

Some people prefer clear aligners, which are transparent and subtle without any metal wires or brackets attached. They’re less noticeable than traditional metal braces.

Want to learn more? Read Our Detailed Guide Here: Everything You Need To Know About Clear Aligners in Australia

How Does a Clear Aligner Work?

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Aligners are often the most popular orthodontic choice for adults and teenagers alike due to their convenience. Keeping them in your mouth for at least 20 to 22 hours per day is no easy task. Moreover, the aligner needs only to be taken out when eating or brushing your teeth, not neglecting this vital responsibility throughout treatment. If you are not disciplined and committed throughout the process, the treatment can take much longer than expected. 

  • Initial consultation – Clear aligners are one of the most popular orthodontic treatments for teeth, but not everyone is eligible. To find out if you’re a candidate to straighten your teeth with an aligner, book an appointment with a dentist. They will examine your mouth before determining eligibility based on x-rays and digital scans.
  • Creating a custom treatment plan – Once your dentist has determined that you will be receiving a precise alignment treatment, they take 3D scans of your mouth and input them into an advanced software system. Then, the information is sent off-site, where it’s fabricated from BPA-free thermoplastic to create custom-made aligners for teeth straightening.
  • Receiving your clear aligners – As soon as your trays are ready, you meet with a dental professional to have them fitted for the appropriate correction. You then head home and put on the tray like it’s nothing more than an over-the-counter mouthguard that can be removed when eating or drinking. This unique treatment will work wonders if you wear it at least 20 to 22 hours per day without exception. Trays typically need to be changed every one to two weeks depending on what kind of correction is required, but make sure not to miss any days because if they’re worn too little, they won’t do much good.
  • Visiting your dentist every six weeks – If you want to keep your teeth healthy, you must make sure to see a dentist every six weeks. They will be able to clean off any plaque and tartar from the surface of your teeth before they can lead to cavities if not treated on time. Additionally, make sure you always perfectly clean your trays since these may change in colour or become scratched with use over time without proper care.

Learn more: How Do Clear Aligner Straighten Teeth?

Does the Clear Aligner Hurt?

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Generally speaking, what you’ll experience is that your teeth will feel tight or sore for a few days while they settle into their new position. Pain is a sign that realignment work is being done. You may also experience some discomfort in your teeth or gums. Still, it’s not something to worry about as the process will go on, and you’ll get used to wearing them over time. 

Some people may find it uncomfortable, but this should be relatively rare. Those who are more sensitive to pain, such as people with gum disease, might find themselves suffering when using dental aligners because of their sensitivity levels.

Pain and discomfort are common when aligners are first fitted and changed, which happens about every two weeks. As long as you follow your doctor’s instructions and wear them consistently throughout treatment, there should be nothing to worry about. 

Are Clear Aligners Effective? 

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A clear aligner is a new orthodontic treatment that many are turning to for healthier teeth. However, some experts may point out that the research done on this product in 2015 has not been sufficient because there aren’t enough cases to make significant conclusions about how it compares with other treatments available today.

Treatment for malocclusion can be achieved through braces or clear aligners. However, the use of either is not without drawbacks. Clear aligners are a great choice when treating mild-to-moderate cases. Another advantage is the segmented movement and shortens chair time and treatment duration. However, disadvantages such as durability can reduce the effectiveness and teeth relapse into spaces where they once existed when they wear out from continuous use. 

Learn more: Are Clear Aligners As Effective As Traditional Braces?

Clear Aligners vs Traditional Braces: Pros & Cons  

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  • Almost Invisible & Looks Better – One of the most appealing aspects of clear aligners is that you can maintain a professional appearance while undergoing orthodontic treatment because they are virtually invisible. Adults love this because their colleagues and clients can not see they’re getting a dental treatment, so it’s easier to keep up appearances throughout your treatments. You won’t feel self-conscious in photos because people will only ever notice photographs of an increasingly better smile.
  • You can take them out – Clear aligners are the perfect solution for those who don’t want to deal with traditional braces. They have to be worn for 20 to 22 hours each day, so it’s okay if you take them out when eating, but be sure not to eat anything hard or sticky that could cause problems with your teeth alignment and mouth comfort. Thus, people who wear clear aligners never have to worry about getting stuck in brackets.
  • Easier to maintain proper oral hygiene – In addition to eating and drinking, you’ll also remove your clear aligners so you can brush your teeth. People will be able to continue with the same oral hygiene routine that they’ve always had without any obstruction to their teeth. Hence, nothing is stopping you from maintaining good oral hygiene.
  • Comfortable to wear – Some people wonder if clear aligners are more or less painful than traditional metal braces. Moving teeth around with this device can be uncomfortable and even a little bit sore, just like wearing regular brackets. But unlike metal brackets, they don’t cut your cheeks from wearing them all day long, thanks to a special plastic that fits perfectly in your mouth.


  • Need to wear them for 22 hours – One of the most frustrating parts about wearing a clear aligner is that you have to remember to put it back in your mouth after every time you eat and brush your teeth. Sometimes, people forget this simple step, leading them to not follow through with their treatment plan. The treatment won’t go nearly as well because you need to wear them for 20 to 22 hours per day. 
  • Cost of clear aligners – Dentists often get asked if clear aligners are cheaper than braces, but this is a difficult question to answer as the cost of both treatments can vary. There has been an increase in 3D scanning technology and more flexible materials used for making clear aligners that have resulted in prices being similar between treatment options. Your orthodontist will work closely with you to determine what would be best for your dental concerns while discussing any consequences of those decisions.
  • It can only fix mild to moderate orthodontic issues. Clear aligners are not always the best solution for orthodontic treatment. They aren’t recommended for more complex cases, like when teeth have shifted significantly out of alignment or if patients have spacing between their teeth. Before deciding which treatment to use, make sure you ask your specialist about all the available methods before choosing whether a clear aligner is the best option.

Learn more about The Pros and Cons of Clear Aligners

Pros and Cons of Braces

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  • Effective for all kinds of orthodontic issues – Braces may not be your favorite way to keep up with dental problems, but they’re one of the best ways to get straight teeth. Traditional braces work well to correct multiple issues simply and effectively-including crooked or misaligned teeth and protruding ones. With all these benefits, you might wonder why we ever stopped using them.
  • Potentially better results than clear aligners – Some people swear by braces, while others are on the fence. Braces provide a more intense force to move your teeth into place than clear aligners do; some argue that this is why they work better for certain folks. Clear aligners have their pros and cons, because you can only straighten so many of your teeth at once.
  • Faster treatment time – When it comes to metal braces, you have a lot of options. But the question is: how long do they take? In general, most people will need two years for their teeth to be straightened out properly. But this duration can vary depending on your needs and how quickly you want to be done. If you need to cover gaps between teeth, then maybe only 6-8 months will suffice.


  • Need to visit the dentist more often – It’s essential to visit your dentist every month for a check-up. Your dentist will examine the wires to make adjustments and tighten them as needed so that you can continue with straightening.
  • Restriction on food and drinks – When you wear metal braces, you must avoid certain types of food. Sticky food and hard to crush food items can damage the wires or brackets on your teeth, leading to more dental work for you later down the line. It would be best to give up sugary snacks like cookies and candy because they can lead to cavities, so think twice about what types of treats you should have.
  • Brushing and flossing can be challenging – It is challenging to keep your mouth healthy and clean with braces. Braces are hard to brush, making it nearly impossible for you to floss properly since wires trap food particles that lead to cavities. Not only that, but they can cause discolouration of teeth as well.
  • can be uncomfortable – Patients who wear braces often find themselves constantly in discomfort because of the metal wires, brackets, and sometimes pieces poking their sensitive gums. They may also not like how their teeth appear during this period, so many will isolate themselves socially for a long time until it is over; some take up to a year before removing them altogether.

How Does a Clear Aligner Straighten Teeth?

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Orthodontic alignment can help keep your teeth straight and close spaces. It is excellent for people who have mild to moderate crowding or spacing issues. Yet, some may need more complex treatment due to severe problems with overbites/underbites conditions that require brackets and other appliances.

The clear aligners are created from a special thin plastic or acrylic material that fits tightly over your teeth. You’ll get one clear aligner every couple of weeks as you gradually shift your teeth into the desired position. With so many versions and slight changes being implemented with each new set of trays, it’s easy to see how much progress has been made in such a short time.

The best way to get the most out of your aligners is by following instructions and wearing them in order. It’s essential not to wear one too early or late, as that will only make your teeth slightly straighter but still crooked. The aligner will feel tight when you first put it on, but after a while (usually within a week), it will start feeling loose again. It means an alignment from the next series is needed.

Aligners need time and patience as they require you to keep them in for at least 20-22 hours per day. It is only taken off long enough to eat, clean your mouth or brush your teeth. Neglecting this responsibility means treatment can take longer than expected. Thus, discipline and commitment are essential throughout the aligner treatment

Learn more: How Do Clear Aligner Straighten Teeth?

Final Thoughts

As you may have learned, clear aligners are a great alternative to traditional braces. In this blog post, we’ve provided information about how they work and answered some of the most common questions that people ask about them, including whether or not they hurt. If you would like more insight into what these devices can do for your smile, please contact our team at Byford Smiles at 08 9532 0247 to answer any additional questions that you might have.

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