Are Clear Aligners Painful? | Beam

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Clear aligners are widely accepted alternatives to conventional metal braces. Why? Well, instead of metal, clear aligners use clear plastic. 

While clear aligners may be more comfortable than metal braces, there’s a slight chance that you may experience some discomfort or pain.

Studies have shown that the potential for pain is usually at its most significant within the first week of using the aligners.

The pain from clear aligners also depends on individual tolerance. Some people may not experience any pain at all.

Are Clear Aligners Painful?

Do we get a lot of patients asking are clear aligners painful? Clear aligners may cause mild pain at first use because they are designed to straighten your teeth’ alignment gradually.

Pain in the first week of use

Any discomfort or pain from a clear aligner is usually temporary. The most significant risk of pain occurs within the first week of using your aligners.

A study conducted in 2005 found that over 83 percent of clear aligner users got used to the dental aligners within a week.

Intensity of pain

Regarding how much pain an individual can feel, studies suggest that most experiences are mild. The pain is also temporary. According to the same survey above, over 54 percent of clear aligner users experienced mild pain. Additionally, 35 percent did not experience pain.

The biggest complaints were about the discomfort experienced during chewing. The above study reported that at least 44 percent of clear aligners users had this symptom.

The overall statistics suggest that clear aligners cause mild pain. It is also important to note that the pain is temporary, and not every user will experience it. However, your risk of experiencing pain from clear dental aligners is higher if you have:

  • Sensitive teeth
  • Low tolerance to pain
  • Gingivitis and sensitive gums

Pain in one tooth

One may experience some pain in just one tooth. However, pain in the tooth is usually an indication that your clear aligners are working well, i.e., adjusting your teeth gradually. 

Here’s the thing – you may not feel pain in the same tooth with each change of tray aligner, and any discomfort experienced should resolve within a few days.

Are clear aligners painful and how long does clear aligner pain last?

According to reports, the pain from clear aligners lasted 2 – 3 days following the installation of new aligners.

Because clear aligners have to be changed every two weeks, it is possible to experience some discomfort and pain within the first few days of each cycle.

However, as you wear your aligners, these symptoms may become less pronounced.

When is the pain of clear aligners a concern?

A person may experience mild pain in somebody’s areas within the aligners’ first week. Mild discomfort is usually experienced in:

  • Teeth
  • Tongue
  • Jaw

However, the pain shouldn’t be so severe that it interferes with your daily life. Consult your dentist if you experience:

  • Cold or hot sensitivity
  • Bleeding gums or teeth
  • Pain when drinking, swallowing, or eating food
  • Pain accompanied by swelling on the face

Are clear aligners painful and when to contact your orthodontist

Call your orthodontist or clear aligner provider if your trays continue to cause pain after a week. 

Do not forget that you may risk mild discomfort each time you wear a new set of trays (usually after two weeks).

However, if the pain is more intense than your last set or worsens after a few days, you should consult your orthodontist or clear aligner provider. 

Is there a brand of clear aligners that are less painful?

Beam clear aligners are the answer!

Other transparent aligner brands use thermoplastics which are a stiff material and can cause pain and discomfort. 

These lower-grade materials can’t offer the same consistent tooth-moving force overtime. In addition, as treatment progresses, these materials weaken and ultimately lower one’s chances of completing a successful alignment. 

In comparison, at Beam, we use premium Zendura FLX material. The secret to Zendura FLX’s superior performance and comfort is its elastomeric inner layer encased in the unique dual shell construction.

If you have any additional questions on are clear aligners painful you can contact us at

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Can Clear Aligners Fix Crowded Teeth?

Clear aligners are designed to fix moderate levels of underbites, overbites, crossbites, open bites, gap teeth, crowded teeth, and general misaligned/crooked teeth. Learn more about clear aligners that can fix crowded teeth.

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