Do Braces Hurt?

One of the most asked braces questions has always been, do braces hurt? Braces do not hurt but can create a soreness. Most patients will experience soreness for the first four days in braces treatment. Throughout treatment minor soreness can return after some of the adjustment appointments. During the first week in braces, you may experience sore gums, sore teeth and scrapes or sores inside the cheeks. Luckily there are a few things that can help.

Over-the-Counter Pain Relievers

When pressure, from braces or orthodontic appliances, is applied to the teeth the bone and periodontal ligaments, located around the teeth, will begin to move. Over-the-counter pain relievers such as, Ibuprofen and Acetaminophen, will help limit the soreness by slowing down the immediate tooth movement. Along with helping reduce inflammation while managing pain.

Warm Saltwater Rinse

At the beginning of orthodontic treatment, the inside of the mouth may become sore or tender due to the braces or appliance. A saltwater rinse can be used to reduce gum irritation and inflammation. It will also help manage discomfort while promoting healing. To create a saltwater rinse, add 1tsp of salt to 8oz of warm water.

Soft Food and Cold Beverages

To align teeth the braces work by applying pressure to move the teeth. As the teeth begin to experience the pressure it can cause temporary pain. To help alleviate the discomfort it is suggested to eat soft foods such as soup, yogurt, mashed potatoes and macaroni n' cheese. Cold foods and beverages are also good for helping with pain. The coldness will help reduce inflammation while creating numbness inside the mouth. Over time the warmth of a person's mouth can "activate" the wires. This can cause a mild soreness or discomfort. Ice cream, smoothies and milk shakes are examples of cold food and beverages that can decrease the temporary tightness caused by the wires.

Orthodontic Wax

Braces wax is non-toxic wax. When applied to a bracket the wax will create a smooth barrier. The barrier prevents the rubbing between the bracket and inside the cheek. As the mouth builds a new tolerance to the brackets, wax will no longer be needed.

The idea of doing orthodontic treatment can be overwhelming. Dr Hughes and team will go through each step with you to make sure every patient is comfortable from beginning to end of treatment. There is always someone available to answer all questions you may have.