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Do braces hurt?

Wondering if having braces hurts? Our Ottawa dentists tell you how to avoid pain during and after having braces.

Braces as a Cosmetic Dental Treatment

Orthodontic treatment (using braces or clear aligners) is a serious dental treatment that involves a significant investment of time and effort. Orthodontic treatment is necessary to correct a number of oral health disorders and conditions, including tooth and jaw misalignments.

A straighter, more symmetrical smile is one of the significant cosmetic advantages of braces treatment. Braces are frequently used to treat minor misalignments that don't hurt or inconvenience people but do make them feel a little 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 we get from patients who are anxious about getting braces is, 'Do braces 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.

Following the insertion of their braces or the adjustment of their brackets or wires, many patients report some soreness or discomfort for the first few days. Your mouth will undergo a significant change when you get braces, and it might take a few weeks for your cheeks and lips to adjust 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

For eating after appointments and if your teeth are sore or sensitive after getting rid of your braces, you might want to stock up on softer foods. Anything that will prevent you from having to bite or crunch down with sensitive teeth comes to mind, such as soups, yogurt, mashed potatoes, and macaroni and cheese.

Use special wax or silicone

Your teeth and mouth are becoming accustomed to the realignment process as well as having to deal with braces, elastic ties, and archwires. To create a smooth surface and ease any irritation on your inner lips and cheeks, you can apply special relief wax or silicone over your braces.

Take over-the-counter pain medication

It's normal to experience some soreness on your teeth or in your mouth after your braces are permanently removed. Some patients discover that over-the-counter painkillers like ibuprofen, which is found in brands like Advil, Motrin, and others, relieve any soreness (just ensure you are not allergic to any medication you may take).

Drink ice water or apply an ice pack

The pain from braces can be greatly reduced by cold temperatures. Applying an ice pack to the outside of your mouth will help to reduce swelling. You can also hydrate the area by drinking a nice, cold glass of ice water.

Though you may feel some discomfort in the days after braces are placed or adjusted, this should quickly fade.

Do you have questions about braces? Contact our Ottawa dentists to book an appointment today. 

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