Before starting treatment, many patients want to know if braces are going to hurt. Braces definitely make your teeth feel differently. Knowing what to expect from the beginning, however, can make your time in braces a lot more pleasant.
Does it Hurt to Get Braces On?
Getting braces on does not hurt. The whole process usually takes from 15 to 45 minutes. It is not a difficult procedure, nor is it uncomfortable – you just sit back, relax and hold still while we put your braces on. While it is not a painful process, it does make your mouth dry and we will do our best to help you through this minor discomfort.
The Feeling of Braces in Your Mouth
You will be able to feel your braces once they are on your teeth. The braces themselves do not hurt but they do make your mouth feel differently. You will be able to feel the braces and wires on your lips and cheeks; you may even feel slight discomfort as your lips and cheeks first rub against the braces and wires. It will take some time for you to get used to the feeling as your lips and cheeks “learn” to stay away from the braces. With a little time and patience, most people have no trouble getting used to their braces.
You can make having braces more comfortable, and we are glad to help. Apply the special wax we provide over any part of your braces or wires that feels particularly uncomfortable. Most patients do not need the wax at all, or need it for only the first few days, but some find the wax to be a convenience as they become accustomed to their new braces.
About Tender Teeth
Your teeth may feel a little tender as they begin to move in the first few days after getting your braces. While not necessarily painful, the tenderness is very similar to the muscle soreness you feel after exercise. You can reduce tenderness by taking it easy on your teeth for the first few days after getting your braces.
Eat soft food, such as pudding, applesauce, pasta and seafood, any time your teeth are tender. Avoid especially hard or chewy foods, including corn chips and nuts. Cold food, like a milkshake or smoothie, can be very soothing for tender teeth. Soft, cold foods are your friends and they will make your time in braces more comfortable.
Discomfort Associated with Adjustments
Depending on your treatment goals and the specific orthodontic processes needed to make your teeth look perfect, you may experience tenderness or discomfort after certain adjustment appointments. You can reduce your risk for experiencing discomfort after your adjustments by preparing for tenderness before your appointment.
Over-the-counter pain relievers, such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen, ease discomfort and tenderness associated with new braces or adjustments. The typical dose for a headache should cover any tooth soreness.
Protecting Your Braces and Teeth from Pain
Wear a braces-friendly mouth guard when you participate in any sports or activities that present a risk for contact, such as soccer, football, basketball, and wrestling. A mouth guard protects your teeth, lips and cheeks from your braces should you experience any significant impact to your mouth.
Taking these steps will greatly reduce the risk that you will feel any pain or discomfort while you wear braces. If you have any trouble getting used to wearing braces, talk with our orthodontist. We are always glad to help you get the most out of your great smile.