Are you concerned that having braces may hurt? Our Collingwood 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 involving a significant investment of time and effort. Orthodontic treatment is required to correct a number of oral health disorders and conditions, including tooth and jaw misalignments.
That said, orthodontic treatment with braces also provides significant cosmetic benefits; specifically, a straighter, more symmetrical smile. Many people use braces to correct minor misalignments that don't cause them any discomfort or inconvenience, but which do make them feel self-conscious about their smile.
If you're thinking about having your teeth straightened primarily for cosmetic purposes, you are likely wondering if orthodontic treatment will be painful, and whether the pain will be 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.
It is normal for patients to 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 will likely need a couple of weeks to get used to moving around them.
That said, it's important to note that the appliances and wires we use today 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?
Below are a few tips to help relieve any soreness or discomfort you may be feeling in those first few days after your braces are applied or adjusted:
Stick to eating soft foods for a couple of days
It may be a good idea to stock up on softer foods to eat following your adjustment appointments, and if your teeth are sore or sensitive once 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 orthodontic wax or silicone for immediate relief
Your teeth and mouth will take some time to get used to having braces, elastic ties and archwires. Special relief orthodontic wax or silicone can be placed directly 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 discomfort on your teeth or in your mouth. Patients typically 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 to the area
Cold temperatures can do wonders to relieve the pain caused by braces. Reduce inflammation by applying an ice pack to the outside of your mouth. You could also try drinking a nice, cold glass of ice water to numb the area.
Though you may feel some discomfort in the days after your braces are placed, adjusted, or removed this should quickly fade.