Do braces hurt?

Wondering if having braces hurts? Our North York dentists tell you how to avoid pain during and after having braces.

Braces as a Cosmetic Dental Treatment

Orthodontic treatment (using braces or clear aligners) is a serious dental treatment that involves a significant investment of time and effort. Orthodontic treatment is necessary to correct a number of oral health disorders and conditions, including tooth and jaw misalignments.

However, orthodontic treatment can also provide significant cosmetic benefits, such as a more symmetrical and straighter smile. Numerous individuals use braces to correct minor misalignments that do not cause them discomfort or inconvenience but do make them feel a bit 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 experience some soreness or discomfort for the first few days following the placement or adjustment of their braces, brackets, or wires. Your cheeks and lips may need a couple of weeks to adjust to moving around your braces before they become natural.

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 may wish to stock up on softer foods to eat after appointments and if your teeth are sore or sensitive after the removal of your braces. Consider soups, yogurt, mashed potatoes, and macaroni and cheese - anything that will prevent you from biting or crunching with sensitive teeth.

Use special wax or silicone

Your teeth and mouth are adjusting to being realigned, as well as having to contend with braces, elastic ties, and archwires. Special relief wax or silicone can be applied over braces to create a smooth surface and reduce irritation on the inner lips and cheeks.

Take over-the-counter pain medication

After your braces have been removed permanently, it is common to experience discomfort in your teeth and mouth. Some patients find that over-the-counter painkillers such as ibuprofen - found in Advil, Motrin, and other brands - alleviate pain (just ensure you are not allergic to any medication you may take).

Drink ice water or apply an ice pack

Cold temperatures can do wonders to alleviate the discomfort of braces. Applying an ice pack to the outside of your mouth will reduce swelling. You can also consume a glass of ice water to numb the affected area.

Though you may feel some discomfort in the days after braces are placed or adjusted, this should quickly fade.

Do you have questions about braces? Contact our North York dentists to book an appointment today. 

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