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Braces: Do They Hurt?

Front view of boy wearing braces

Blog Highlights

  • Though braces can be painful or uncomfortable at times, the pain is often not extreme
  • Most orthodontists recommend simple over-the-counter pain killers
  • For the duration of your treatment, you may experience pressure and tenderness

If you are considering getting braces, you may be wondering if they will be painful.  Braces can be painful and uncomfortable at times; however, the pain is often not extreme and is relatively easy to manage.

The First Appointment

When the braces are put on, you shouldn’t experience any serious discomfort. Once the braces are applied, you may start to notice some discomfort as the teeth begin to realign. You may feel some pressure from the wires and chewing may be uncomfortable.

In the first few days it’s recommended that patients follow a soft food diet, including such things as soup and yogurt. Initial pain or discomfort typically goes away within 5-7 days. In some cases, you may experience a headache as you get used to the braces and the movement of your teeth. Most orthodontists recommend simple over-the-counter pain killers, such as ibuprofen to deal with the pain. It’s also recommended that you rinse with salt water to help keep swelling down and to ease discomfort after the application of your braces.

Subsequent Appointments

It’s common to experience some discomfort after your regular adjustment appointments. During these appointments, your orthodontist will adjust your braces, tightening them, to slowly encourage your teeth to realign. Occasionally, they will change wires and elastics which can also increase your chances of experiencing some discomfort for a few days. If the pain becomes too intense, over-the counter pain medication can help.

For the duration of your treatment, while your teeth move and adjust, you may experience pressure and mild tenderness. You may also experience some discomfort from the braces and wires rubbing against the soft tissues of your mouth. If this happens, you can use a little wax to cover any sharp or jabbing wires. Most orthodontists will provide you with some wax before sending you home.

If you experience extreme pain or something feels wrong, don’t hesitate to contact your orthodontist.




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