Are you wondering if having braces will hurt or be uncomfortable? Here, our Slave Lake dentists explain how to avoid pain both during and after having braces.
Orthodontic treatments (using braces or clear aligners) are a serious dental treatment that involves a significant investment of time and effort. These treatments are necessary to correct a number of oral health disorders and conditions, including tooth and jaw misalignments.
Treatment with braces specifically may have significant cosmetic benefits like a more symmetrical and straighter smile. Many people use braces to correct the minor misalignments that don't cause them discomfort or inconvenience, but that do make them feel a bit self-conscious.
If you are considering straightening your teeth for primarily cosmetic purposes, you may be wondering if the treatment is painful, and whether the pain is worth it.
Does having braces hurt?
One of the most common questions our dentists get from patients is whether or not they hurt.
Our honest answer is always that the application itself won’t hurt, though you may feel some mild pain or discomfort after we join the brackets with the orthodontic wire.
Many patients will experience some soreness and discomfort for the first few days after their braces are placed or when their brackets and wires and adjusted. Getting braces is a big change for your mouth too. Your cheeks and lips may need some time to get used to moving around them.
You’ll be relieved to know that the appliances and wires we use are modern, and designed to exert light, gradual, continuous pressure on your teeth so as not to cause undue 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 consider stocking up on softer foods to eat after appointments and if your teeth are sensitive or sore after your braces or 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 isn't unusual to feel some soreness on your teeth or your mouth. Some patients also find that over-the-counter pain medications like ibuprofen can help to relieve soreness. (Just make sure you aren't allergic to any medications you may be taking.
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.