We know that any kind of orthodontic or dental work is nerve-wracking for a lot of people. Sometimes, a bad past experience with dentistry or orthodontics can discourage patients from pursuing treatment they need. Other patients simply have a phobia of invasive dental work. We understand that, and we know that providing lots of information before beginning treatment can help reduce anxiety. So when our patients ask us “do braces hurt?”, we give them an honest answer.
However, that answer may surprise you!
Braces can be uncomfortable, but they don’t always hurt. And when discomfort is felt, there are lots of ways to alleviate it. The purpose of braces is to guide your teeth to a new position, but modern orthodontic technology has made this process more comfortable than ever before. Remember, misaligned teeth can cause moderate to severe tooth and jaw pain later in life, so slight discomfort now is always preferable to severe discomfort later!
Do Braces Hurt My Teeth?
When you first get braces. Dr. Montano or Dr. Cardall will apply an adhesive to your teeth in order to bond the brackets to your teeth. This process is painless and doesn’t take very long.
When the braces are applied and then again each time they are adjusted, you may experience some discomfort as a new, gentle pressure is being exerted on your teeth. Some patients don’t even notice this pressure, but it all depends on your unique case.
Do Braces Hurt My Gums And Cheeks?
When you first get braces, there is a chance the treatment could irritate the inside of your mouth. This happens simply because there’s something new taking up space in your mouth, and the insides of your cheeks need to adjust. Getting used to the feel of your braces won’t take long, and any discomfort in your cheeks and gums should go away.
Sometimes, cheek and gum pain can be a result of a misplaced wire. As the teeth move, the wire can occasionally shift and slightly poke out the back on one of the sides. If you notice increased discomfort as a result of your braces, call Montano & Cardall for an appointment to ensure your wires are all resting where they’re supposed to be.
What Should I Do If My Braces Hurt?
If you are experiencing slight pain or discomfort right after getting your braces on or having them adjusted, rest assured that this is normal! The discomfort will pass quickly, and when you’re finished you will have a beautiful-looking smile. Some things to try to alleviate slight pain from braces are:
- Heat packs
- Hot towels
- Hot baths (the heat will help increase blood flow, reducing pain)
- Over-the-counter medications like Tylenol or Advil
- Ice packs
- Orthodontic wax (used to help alleviate pain from a wire that is “poking out” before you visit your orthodontist to have it adjusted)
- Gentle jaw massage
- Eating soft foods until the pain is reduced
- Eating cold foods like ice cream or cold drinks–because we use high-tech wires that are heat activated, cold foods will temporarily reduce the slight pressure of the wires.
If you find yourself experiencing a higher than normal level of pain after getting braces, be sure to call us right away. Your braces may be damaged or something else could be wrong and causing you pain—your orthodontist can fix it.
Braces technology has come a long way in the past few years. You might be surprised at how little braces hurt. Most patients say the slight discomfort is totally worth it for the beautiful, straight, healthy-looking smile they receive in return!
Ready to take the next step toward getting braces? Click here to book a FREE consultation today!