Wondering if having braces hurts? Our Village Orthodontics team tells you how to avoid pain during and after having braces.
Braces as a Cosmetic Dental Treatment
Orthodontic treatment (braces or clear aligners) is a serious dental treatment that requires a significant time and effort investment. A variety of oral health disorders and conditions, including tooth and jaw misalignment, require orthodontic treatment.
However, braces treatment can provide significant cosmetic benefits, such as a straighter, more symmetrical smile. Many people wear braces to correct minor misalignments that do not cause pain or inconvenience but do make them feel self-conscious.
If you are considering straightening your teeth for primarily cosmetic purposes, you may be wondering if the treatment is painful and whether the pain is worth it.
Does having braces hurt?
One of the most common questions we get from patients who are anxious about getting braces is, 'Do braces hurt?
Our honest answer is always that the application itself won’t hurt, though you may feel some mild pain or discomfort after we join the brackets with the orthodontic wire.
Many patients report soreness or discomfort in the days following brace placement or bracket or wire adjustment. Braces are a significant change for your mouth, and it may take a few weeks for your cheeks and lips to adjust to moving around them.
You’ll be relieved to know that the appliances and wires we use are modern, and designed to exert light, gradual, continuous pressure on your teeth so as not to cause undue pain.
What can I do to relieve any pain or discomfort?
Here are some tips to help relieve any soreness or discomfort you may be feeling in those first few days after your braces are applied or adjusted:
Eat softer foods
If your teeth are sore or sensitive after having your braces removed, you should prepare softer foods to eat after appointments. Soups, yogurt, mashed potatoes, mac and cheese - anything to keep your sensitive teeth from biting or crunching.
Use special wax or silicone
Your teeth and mouth are becoming accustomed to being realigned, as well as to having to deal with braces, elastic ties, and archwires. Special relief wax or silicone can be applied over your braces to create a smooth surface and relieve irritation on your inner lips and cheeks.
Take over-the-counter pain medication
Soreness on your teeth or in your mouth is common after your braces have been permanently removed. Over-the-counter pain relievers, such as ibuprofen, which is found in Advil, Motrin, and other brands, help some patients relieve soreness (just ensure you are not allergic to any medication you may take).
Drink ice water or apply an ice pack
Cold temperatures can help with brace pain relief. Apply an ice pack to the outside of your mouth to reduce inflammation. You can also numb the area by drinking a cold glass of ice water.
Though you may feel some discomfort in the days after braces are placed or adjusted, this should quickly fade.