Wondering if it hurts to have braces? Our Winnipeg dentists explain how to avoid pain during and after having braces.
Braces as a Cosmetic Dental Treatment
Orthodontic treatment (using braces or clear aligners) is serious dental treatment that will involve a significant investment of time and effort on your part. Orthodontic treatment can help correct several oral health conditions and disorders, including misalignments of the teeth and jaws.
However, many people choose treatment with braces for cosmetic reasons: specifically, a straighter, more symmetrical smile. Braces are often used to correct minor misalignments that don't cause any inconvenience or discomfort, but which can make people feel a little self=conscious.
If you are thinking about straightening your teeth mainly for cosmetic purposes, you might be wondering if treatment is painful, and whether the pain is worth the outcomes at the end.
Does having braces hurt?
One of the most common questions patients who are anxious about getting braces have for us is, 'Do braces hurt?'
The honest answer is always that while the application itself won't hurt, you may feel some mild discomfort or pain after the brackets are joined with the orthodontic wire.
Many patients experience some soreness or discomfort for the first few days after their braces are placed, or their wires or brackets are adjusted. Getting braces is a big change for your mouth, and your lips and cheeks might need a couple of weeks to get used to moving around them.
You'll be relieved to know that many of the appliances and wires used today are modern and designed to exert gradual, continuous and light pressure on your teeth so as not to cause unnecessary pain.
What can I do to relieve any pain or discomfort?
Here are some tips to help relieve any soreness or discomfort you may 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.