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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.

However, braces treatment can provide significant cosmetic benefits, such as a straighter, more symmetrical smile. Many people wear braces to correct minor misalignments that do not cause pain or inconvenience but do make them feel 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.

Many patients report soreness or discomfort in the days following the placement of braces or the adjustment of brackets or wires. Getting braces is a big change for your mouth, and it may 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

If your teeth are sore or sensitive after your braces are removed, you may want to stock up on softer foods to eat after appointments. Soups, yogurt, mashed potatoes, macaroni and cheese - anything that will keep your sensitive teeth from biting or crunching.

Use special wax or silicone

Your teeth and mouth are getting used to being realigned - and to have to deal with braces, elastic ties, and archwires. To create a smooth surface and relieve irritation on your inner lips and cheeks, special relief wax or silicone can be applied over your braces.

Take over-the-counter pain medication

It's not uncommon to experience soreness on your teeth or in your mouth after your braces have been removed permanently. Some patients find that over-the-counter pain relievers, such as ibuprofen, which is found in Advil, Motrin, and other brands, help 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 help with brace pain relief. Apply an ice pack to the outside of your mouth to reduce inflammation. You can also numb the area by drinking a 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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