As with any dental procedure, you might wonder if getting braces hurts. It’s an understandable issue that can make people anxious, but you don’t have to worry: having braces applied to the teeth doesn’t hurt! Here’s what you can expect when you’re getting your braces.
What Will I Experience When I Get My Braces On?
Having braces put on does not hurt, and any discomfort comes after the appointment. Most patients feel some sensitivity and mild aching in their teeth and jaws that starts on the first day, usually a few hours after they get them on. Others may experience only mild discomfort that goes away within a few hours.
The discomfort comes from the gentle pressure of the wire attached to the braces as it slowly pulls the teeth into alignment. This pressure can create mild aches that can last as little as a day or two or as long as a week. As the patient becomes used to the braces and their alignments adjust, they may not notice their braces as much. We advise a soft diet during this period until the discomfort subsides. Soup, yogurt, smoothies are great options.
However, for braces to be effective, they’ll need some periodic tightening. During these check-ups, the orthodontist replaces the wires, tightens springs and bands, and generally makes sure that the braces are putting sufficient pressure to get the teeth and jaw into alignment. A patient can experience mild to no discomfort after these appointments. Tylenol or Advil can be taken before or after your appointment to help reduce discomfort.
Some Helpful Tips To Help You Get Use To Your New Braces
- Choose soft foods for your first week with braces
- Use dental wax to help relieve the soreness that comes from your brackets rubbing against your cheeks
- Take over-the-counter pain relievers like acetaminophen (Tylenol) or ibuprofen (Advil)
- Apply a topical anesthetic to the gums
- Rinse your mouth with warm salt water (1 teaspoon of salt per 8 ounces of water)
- Follow proper oral hygiene, cleaning the teeth and in between the braces to prevent tooth decay
However, each person will have a different experience with braces. If you’re feeling a high amount of pain, tell us immediately – your braces shouldn’t be unbearable.
Remember: any aching you feel is your smile improving!