Do you want to know if having braces hurts? Our Montague dentists explain how to avoid pain while wearing braces.
Braces as a Cosmetic Dental Treatment
Orthodontic treatment (braces or clear aligners) is a serious dental procedure that requires a significant time and effort investment. Orthodontic treatment is required to correct a variety of oral health disorders and conditions, including misaligned teeth and jaws.
However, braces treatment can provide significant cosmetic benefits, such as a straighter, more symmetrical smile. Many people use braces to correct minor misalignments that cause no discomfort or inconvenience but 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 the placement of their braces or the adjustment of their brackets or wires. Getting braces is a big 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
You should keep softer foods on hand for after appointments and if your teeth are sore or sensitive after your braces are removed. Soups, yogurt, mashed potatoes, macaroni and cheese - anything that will prevent you from biting or crunching down with sensitive teeth.
Use special wax or silicone
Your teeth and mouth are getting used to being realigned - and to have to deal with braces, elastic ties, and archwires. Special relief wax or silicone can be applied to your braces to create a smooth surface and relieve irritation on your inner lips and cheeks.
Take over-the-counter pain medication
It's not uncommon to experience soreness on your teeth or in your mouth after your braces have been removed permanently. Some patients find that taking over-the-counter pain relievers like ibuprofen - found in Advil, Motrin, and other brands - helps relieve any 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 nice, cold glass of ice water.
Though you may feel some discomfort in the days after braces are placed or adjusted, this should quickly fade.