Wondering whether having braces hurts? Our dentists in Toronto share how you can avoid pain during and after having braces.
Braces as a Cosmetic Dental Treatment
If you opt for orthodontic treatment using braces or clear aligners, you are undergoing serious dental treatment that involves a significant investment of time and effort. Orthodontic treatment is often needed to correct a range of oral health conditions and disorders, including tooth and jaw misaligments.
However, there are also cosmetic reasons someone may choose treatment with braces: specifically, a straighter, more symmetrical smile. Many people use braces to correct minor misalignments that may not cause any discomfort or inconvenience, but which do make them feel somewhat self-conscious.
Are you considering straightening your teeth for primarily cosmetic purposes? You might be wondering if the treatment is painful, and whether the pain is worth it.
Does having braces hurt?
One of the most common questions people who are anxious about getting braces ask is, 'Do braces hurt?
The 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 people experience some soreness or discomfort for the first few days after their braces are placed, or their brackets or wires are adjusted. Getting braces is a big change for your mouth, and your cheeks and lips may need a couple of weeks to get used 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 may want to stock up on softer foods to eat for after appointments and if your teeth are sore or sensitive after your braces are removed. Think soups, yogurt, mashed potatoes, macaroni and cheese - anything that will help you avoid having to bite or crunch down with sensitive teeth.
Use special wax or silicone
Your teeth and mouth are getting used to being realigned - and to having braces, elastic ties and archwires to contend with. Special relief wax or silicone can be applied over your braces to create a smooth surface and help relieve any irritation on your inner lips and cheeks.
Take over-the-counter pain medication
After your braces are removed for good, it’s not unusual to feel some soreness on your teeth or in your mouth. Some patients find over-the-counter pain medication such as ibuprofen - contained 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 do wonders for braces pain relief. Reduce inflammation by applying an ice pack to the outside of your mouth. You can also drink a nice, cold glass of ice water to numb the area.
Though you may feel some discomfort in the days after braces are placed or adjusted, this should quickly fade.