“Do braces hurt?” That is one of the first and most common questions patients often ask us. Rest assured that generally, braces do not hurt; however, you might experience slight discomfort for a couple of days after you first get your braces.
What to Expect
Day 1: It’s the day you get your braces and you are flooded with emotions from excitement about how great your smile will look to anxiety because you don’t know what to expect. Having your braces applied to your teeth is not a painful process at all. It may take some time to adjust to talking and eating with braces, but you will quickly learn how to chew and speak with them. As your teeth begin to move, you may be a bit more sensitive to certain foods and drinks and you may feel a bit of discomfort, but this will all subside after a couple of days. We recommend during the first couple of days, to avoid crunchy foods, to allow time to adjust to your braces. Instead, eat softer foods like yogurt, soups, mashed potatoes, and macaroni and cheese.
Day 2 and 3: You may still feel some discomfort as your teeth begin to shift and you’re not used to the pressure of the braces, but don’t worry. That means it is working! Use wax to help alleviate wire irritations on the lips and cheeks. We’ll be sure to show you how to use it before you leave our office. You can also use Advil or Ibuprofen to help reduce your discomfort. Be sure to follow the dosage instructions on the bottle. Another option is to use salt-water rinses to bring your mouth relief.
Day 5: It’s nearly been a week since you’ve gotten your braces and at this point, you should only be experiencing a minimal amount of discomfort, if any at all. By this time, you should have acclimated well to speaking and eating with braces. While eating hard foods may still be a little challenging, you should be able to resume a normal diet; however, you should still avoid eating certain foods, like ice, nuts, hard or sticky candy, popcorn, chips, whole apples and bagels.
Regular Appointments: We want to see you regularly to monitor your progress throughout your treatment. During these check-ups, we’ll change the archwire and elastics, as well as make any necessary adjustments to your braces. The main purpose of braces is to apply gentle pressure to your teeth in order to bring them into proper alignment. These mild activations may be made during your check-up appointments and you might experience some slight discomfort for a couple of days as your teeth shift. Keep in mind, this is only temporary; the discomfort will quickly subside.
Managing Soreness: It’s important to remember that any discomfort you experience with braces is only temporary and can be easily managed. Wax and over-the-counter pain medications can be used to help relieve soreness after your braces are placed or when you have adjustments made. Saltwater rinses are also helpful in bringing relief. Another helpful way to alleviate discomfort is by chewing sugar-free gum, which helps to stimulate blood flow to the supportive areas surrounding the teeth, thus encouraging the teeth to move faster while reducing your discomfort.
We love our patients and love to help them form healthy dental life that will last them a lifetime. For more information call us today to answer all of your questions so get an appointment today.