Do Braces Hurt?

One of the questions that we get most often from patients is, ‘Will braces hurt?’ Braces have created a reputation over the years for being painful and difficult to manage, but we are here to walk you through it and bring some clarity. Some reports are definitely exaggerated, while others are an important part of the process that we will help you manage as it approaches. 

Having the right team to back you up and support you throughout every stage of your treatment is one of the best ways to succeed and enjoy the ride! Dr. Ross at Smiles of Palmetto Bay is here to help you and ensure that you have the least amount of discomfort possible while still creating a stunning smile you will love! Let’s learn more about braces and pain. 

When Your Teeth Might Hurt From Braces

When They First Go On

You’ve likely heard that your teeth can be sore when your braces first come on, and this is true for many people. Because your new braces are working to create resistance to encourage your teeth to shift into a healthier position, this can create tenderness for a few days. We use the words tender and sore because you should not be experiencing sharp or shooting pain during this time, but some discomfort is normal. We will talk more about how to treat your sore teeth in just a bit!

Some people can also experience some tenderness with the skin inside of their cheek as they adjust to the metal or ceramic rubbing against it. This can take a little bit longer to get used to, but it won’t last too long either. Just be patient and use some of the tips we provide below to deal with it in the meantime. 

When You Have Adjustments to Your Treatment

Every 6-10 weeks throughout your treatment, you can plan on coming to our Palmetto Bay office to get a check-up from Dr. Ross. During this time, he may decide to adjust your braces slightly to encourage more shifting power. This might mean adding rubber bands or tightening your wires, but that means occasionally you will come home from your appointment with a sore mouth. The good news here is that it rarely will be all of our teeth at once like it can be at the very beginning of treatment, and it is easier to manage! Again, this should disappear in a few days’ time!

As Your Teeth Shift

The end goal of braces is to shift your teeth into the healthiest and straightest alignment. This means that during your treatment, you may have moments where your teeth will hurt slightly, due to this shifting. It’s not always predictable but is usually short-lived. Be sure to let our team know if you experience any lasting, sharp pain for longer than a day or two. 

When to NOT Expect Pain With Braces

It’s important to understand that soreness and discomfort are a part of the process of having braces, but it shouldn’t be the whole story. Here are a few times when you should expect to not experience pain with braces. 

Applying or Removing Braces

Thanks to updates in technology over the years, you should feel very little discomfort when your braces are being applied for the first time, or even when they are removed! There might be a slight bit of pressure or a tug, but pain should not be a part of that equation at all! Our team will check in with you regularly throughout this process to ensure that you are in good shape and aren’t experiencing pain. 

All the Time!

It’s important to understand that pain should not be a constant state while you wear your braces. Except for at the beginning, or after adjustments, braces should feel normal and comfortable on your teeth. If you are experiencing pain for longer than a few days, or occasional soreness, then you really should give our office a call so that we can help you figure out the root of your pain and solve it! It is rare that something like this could happen, but it could indicate that there is something going on with your tooth that needs to be further investigated.

How to Handle Discomfort

So now that we know when and why your mouth might be tender with braces, let’s talk about how to take care of it!

Pain Relievers

During key moments during your treatment, like after the braces come on, Dr. Ross may recommend a regime of regular, over-the-counter pain relievers. Taking aspirin to reduce your symptoms is a really simple way to make your adjustment process easier.  

Wax and Silicone 

If your mouth or cheeks are feeling irritated from the new metal rubbing against them, adding wax or silicone patches to cover your bracket is really helpful. Pressing a small bit of wax over your bracket will create a soft barrier to help you adjust. Just be sure to take it out before you eat or drink!

Warm Compress

During those first few days when your whole mouth is feeling tender, a nice warm compress pressed against your face will probably feel like heaven. It won’t actually reduce inflammation or help speed your progress, but it sure does feel good!

Soft Diet

Stick to soft foods during your adjustment periods to help you stay nourished without aggravating your sore teeth. We are talking about soups, smoothies, scrambled eggs, yogurt, pudding, applesauce, bananas, and things like that. Don’t worry, you’ll feel better soon to be able to enjoy a lot more food!

Do Braces Hurt?

Find the Supportive Team You Need at Smiles of Palmetto Bay

Don’t wait any longer to get the straight teeth you need, with a supportive team you can trust! At Smiles of Palmetto Bay, we hope to see you in our office very soon!