Are you wondering if braces hurt? Our Parksville dentists explain how to avoid pain while wearing braces and afterward.
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.
Treatment with braces, on the other hand, can have significant cosmetic benefits, such as a straighter, more symmetrical smile. Many people wear braces to correct minor misalignments that don't cause them any pain or discomfort 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.
For the first few days after their braces are placed or their brackets or wires are adjusted, many patients experience some soreness or discomfort. Braces are a significant change for your mouth, and it may take a few weeks for your cheeks and lips to adjust to 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 your braces are removed, you may want to stock up on softer foods to eat after appointments. Soups, yogurt, mashed potatoes, macaroni and cheese - anything that will keep your sensitive teeth from biting or crunching.
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
It's not uncommon to experience soreness on your teeth or in your mouth after your braces are removed for good. Some patients find that taking over-the-counter pain relievers like ibuprofen (found in Advil, Motrin, and other brands) helps them feel better (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 and 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.