Clear aligners & pain

Is aligner treatment painful?

Am I eligible?
Hero Aligner for NL




Aligner treatment is particularly popular as a way to straighten teeth for adults. Nevertheless, many are afraid that aligners will cause pain - just like fixed braces do. Good news first: clear aligners are usually pain-free. However, there are some risks to why aligners can cause pain. We will explain below.

Fixed braces: the pain is often unbearable

Anyone who has had fixed braces as a child or teenager can certainly remember it: excruciating pain, especially after a new wire has been fitted. The pain is felt when chewing, but also at the slightest contact. The pain can last for several days and is often very unpleasant. Loose braces may also cause mild pain at the beginning of the treatment.

Pain is extremely rare with aligner treatment

Unlike fixed braces, pain is uncommon with clear aligners. What is normal, however, is a slight feeling of pressure after inserting new aligners. This varies from person to person, but usually disappears after a few hours. The pressure sensation occurs because your teeth are moved further with each new aligner. 

Tip: always insert new aligners before going to bed, then the pressure sensation is usually gone by the morning.

In addition to the pressure sensation, aligners can also cause severe pain in rare cases. If this occurs, please take it seriously and contact us immediately!

Pain that is not normal with aligners:

  • Numb or extremely sensitive teeth 

  • Discolouration of the teeth

  • Excessive bleeding over 2 to 3 days

  • Open sores in the gum, due to aligners cutting into the gum

  • Extremely loose teeth (like milk teeth)

Reasons why aligners can be painful

Pain from aligners can occur in the jaw area, especially in the beginning of the treatment. The reason for this is that your chewing muscle first has to get used to foreign objects in your mouth. Other soft tissues in the mouth can also be irritated by the aligners and start to cause pain. These may include the inside of the cheeks, the gum, the palate and the tip of the tongue. Other causes of discomfort include sharp edges on your aligners. Sometimes this can cause your gums to bleed.

What to do when the clear "braces" cause pain?

If you experience pain from the clear aligner, you should first consider whether this is a part of the normal course of aligner treatment (e.g. a sensation of pressure after having new aligners inserted) or whether it could damage your dental health (e.g. numb teeth or heavy bleeding). The pressure sensation and jaw pain should generally improve after a short period of time. However, if your aligners are causing a lot of pain, do not hesitate to contact us.

If the sharp edges of the aligners cause pain in your mouth, you can file them down with a nail file to make them rounder. However, be careful not to cut down on the material too much, otherwise you may lose some of the pressure exerted on your teeth!

Patients' experiences of pain

Pain caused by aligners is very rare. The majority of our customers are more than satisfied with the aligners and would recommend DrSmile to others. This is partly because the entire treatment and progress is always monitored by our experts. You are in constant contact with them via the DrSmile app and can report any problems immediately.


"I now smile more confidently and have the confidence to show my smile openly."


"The treatment has made me much more self-confident because I now feel beautiful."


"It was definitely worth it. My teeth are straighter, much easier to clean and, most importantly, nothing hurts anymore."

DS Steps component background gradient
No Logo
Our alignersarrow
  • Contact & Support
  • FAQ
  • For Dentists and Orthodontists
  • [email protected]
  • Careers
Follow us
  • social icon
  • social icon

©2023 DR SMILE