Your comfort during orthodontic treatment is crucial. It doesn't matter how straight your teeth will be, or how perfectly aligned your jaw will become if the journey there is an uncomfortable one. When your particular orthodontic issue can be corrected with clear aligners, chances are that you'll find the experience to be far more comfortable than conventional metal braces. And yet some clear aligners are far more comfortable than others.
Your Aligner Trays
Clear aligners are typically made of thermoplastic with enough rigidity to apply consistent pressure to your teeth. The aligner trays have a curved design and each tray slots tightly over your upper and lower rows of teeth. Conventional braces can be adjusted, but this clearly isn't possible with an aligner tray. Once the tray has shifted your teeth to the limit of its capacity, it will be switched out for the next in the series. Each new tray may feel a little tight, but this is to be expected. But unfortunately, some people will experience ongoing discomfort with their clear aligners.
A new aligner tray will apply the maximum amount of pressure to your teeth, so this sensation can result in noticeable tightness. While perhaps noticeable, this feeling of tightness certainly won't cause pain. Any sensitivity will be minor, and won't linger. But for some patients, any ongoing discomfort with their clear aligners is unrelated to the tray's tightness.
As clear aligner technology has progressed, there have been considerable refinements to the materials used to make the trays themselves. In the past, clear aligners have caused some minor irritation to the soft tissues of the mouth for some patients. This was often considered to be the price to pay for the ultimate results of the aligner treatment. But this no longer has to be the case.
The Most Comfortable Option
If you look for clear aligners that are marketed as the most comfortable clear aligners on the market, then the prospect of sensitivity or irritation during treatment won't be an issue. The trays themselves are ultra-thin and feature curved, scalloped edges for the most comfortable fit. Additionally, comfortable clear aligner trays are trimmed and polished to create the smoothest possible surface, so that friction (and subsequent irritation) cannot occur when the trays make contact with the soft tissues inside your mouth.
Clear aligners typically offer the most comfortable patient experience during orthodontic treatment—but some types of aligners are more comfortable than others.
Speak to a dentist to learn more about clear aligners.