Curious about whether having braces hurts? Our Burnaby share some tips on how to avoid pain during and after having braces.
Braces as a Cosmetic Dental Treatment
Orthodontic treatment (with braces or clear aligners) is sometimes necessary to correct numerous oral health disorders and conditions, including misalignments of the teeth and jaw.
That said, treatment with braces can also yield significant cosmetic benefits; specifically a more symmetrical, straighter smile. Many people correct minor misalignments with braces. While these alignments do not cause them any inconvenience or discomfort, they can make them feel a little self-conscious.
If you are considering straightening your teeth for primarily cosmetic reasons, you may be wondering if this type of treatment is painful, and whether the pain is worth it.
Does having braces hurt?
One of the most common questions we're asked by patients who are feeling anxious about getting braces is, 'Do braces hurt?'
Our honest answer: While the application itself will not hurt, you may feel some mild discomfort or pain after the brackets are joined with the orthodontic wires.
For the first few days after their braces are placed or their wires or brackets are adjusted, many patients experience soreness or discomfort. Your mouth will go through many changes while being treated with braces, therefore your lips and cheeks may need a couple of weeks to get used to moving around them.
You'll be relieved to know most appliances and wires are modern and designed to exert gradual, continuous, light pressure on your teeth, so they should not cause undue pain. If discomfort persists, schedule an appointment with your dentist.
What can I do to relieve any pain or discomfort?
We have some tips that may help to relieve any soreness or discomfort you might be feeling in those first few days after your braces are applied or adjusted:
Eat softer foods
You may want to stock up on softer foods to eat for after appointments and if your teeth are sore or sensitive after 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 special wax or silicone
Your teeth and mouth are getting used to being realigned - and to having braces, elastic ties and archwires to contend with. Special relief wax or silicone can be applied 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 soreness on your teeth or in your mouth. Some patients 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
Cold temperatures can do wonders for braces pain relief. Reduce inflammation by applying an ice pack to the outside of your mouth. You can also drink a nice, cold glass of ice water to numb the area.
Though you may feel some discomfort in the days after braces are placed or adjusted, this should quickly fade.