Are you considering braces and wondering if having them hurts? Our Burnaby dentist shares tips for avoiding pain during and after having braces.
Braces as a Cosmetic Dental Treatment
Orthodontic treatment (wearing braces or clear aligners) is considered serious dental treatment involving a significant investment of effort and time. Many patients need orthodontic treatment to correct numerous oral health conditions and disorders, including misalignments of the teeth and jaw.
That said, treating these issues with braces can also have significant cosmetic benefits: specifically, a more symmetrical, straighter smile. Braces are commonly used to correct minor misalignments that don't cause them any inconvenience or discomfort, but can make them feel somewhat self-conscious.
If you are considering straightening your teeth for mainly cosmetic purposes, you may wonder if you will experience pain during treatment, and whether the pain will be worth it.
Does it hurt to have braces?
Some patients are anxious about getting braces and sometimes ask, 'Do braces hurt?'
Our honest answer: While the application itself won't hurt, you may experience some mild discomfort or pain after the brackets are joined with the orthodontic wire.
For the first few days after their braces are placed or after an appointment to have wires or brackets adjusted, some patients feel some soreness or discomfort. Getting braces is a big change for your mouth, and you may need a couple of weeks for your lips and cheeks to get used to moving around them.
You'll be relieved to learn that appliances and wires used these days are often more 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 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.