Do Braces Hurt?

Austin, TX – One of the most commonly asked questions when patients begin orthodontic treatment is “will it hurt?” While there is some discomfort involved in the orthodontic process, it will be mild to moderate but it should subside quickly. And in no time, you won’t even notice the braces in your mouth!

“Having braces placed is a pain-free experience,” says Dr. Silvana Gonzalez of Pure Smiles Orthodontics. “The process to get your braces placed takes between one and two hours. While you may feel a bit of pressure, you shouldn’t feel any pain. However, within a few hours of having your braces on, you may begin to feel some discomfort – but this is completely normal and won’t last the entire time you are in braces.”

When your braces are first placed and after a tightening appointment, it is normal to feel some discomfort. The orthodontic wire is working to align the teeth and it can take a bit of time for your mouth to get used to it. You may feel this discomfort for up to a week after your braces are placed, and for a few days after every tightening appointment.

The inside part of your mouth will also need some time to adjust to the new brackets and wires. The braces we use are high-tech and sleek, but your mouth is sensitive, so you may develop      sore spots on some areas. This is completely normal and t     his can be avoided if you use orthodontic wax to cover any bracket or area of your mouth that is sensitive to the braces in the first few days. Rest assured, you will get used to the feeling of the braces in no time. 

What can you do to relieve pain or discomfort?

Dr. Gonzalez recommends several things to relieve any discomfort you may feel.

  • Take an over-the-counter pain reliever such as Tylenol (acetaminophen). This can help ease discomfort associated with your braces. 
  • Rinse your mouth regularly with warm saltwater. Saltwater rinses can help provide great relief to areas of your mouth that feel inflamed.
  • Ice your mouth. You can have cold drinks to help relieve moderate discomfort.
  • Stick to soft foods. If your teeth and mouth are sore, it’s best to stick to soft or liquid foods. Shakes, soups, yogurt, smoothies, mashed potatoes, among others, will be your best options.
  • Use orthodontic wax as needed. Your mouth will need some time to adjust to the new brackets in place, and wax can provide some relief. 
  • Chew sugar-free gum. Chewing increases blood flow in the tooth’s supporting structures, which can help reduce discomfort. This may sound contradictory to what has been said before, but studies have shown that chewing gum (as long as it is sugar-     free) is beneficial for your mouth and for pain, as well. We recommend gum that has xylitol as it’s main component, such as Spry, Trident or Orbit. 

“Braces work by moving the teeth gradually into their ideal positions,” says Dr. Gonzalez. “We’re guiding teeth through bone and unfortunately, no matter what treatment option you choose, there will be some discomfort associated with that. However, patients should never experience severe pain. If this happens, please call your orthodontist right away.”

Braces take some getting used to, and there may be some minor soreness or discomfort associated with your treatment. However, you’ll be used to your braces in no time, and we promise any discomfort you experience will be well worth it once you see your new, beautifully aligned smile. To learn more about braces, call Pure Smiles Orthodontics today at 512-215-2520.