Are you worried about any pain associated with braces? Our Nanaimo dentists explain how you can reduce and avoid pain during and after having braces.
Braces as a Cosmetic Dental Treatment
Orthodontic treatment (using braces or clear aligners) is a common 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, treatment with braces can also have significant cosmetic benefits; specifically, a straighter, more symmetrical smile. Many people use braces to correct minor misalignments that don't cause them any discomfort or inconvenience, 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.
The first few days after braces are placed, or brackets or wires are adjusted, you may experience some discomfort and soreness. Getting braces is a big change for your mouth, and your cheeks and lips may need a couple of weeks to get used to moving around them.
Thankfully, the appliances and wires used today are designed to apply light, gradual, continuous pressure on your teeth so as not to cause undue pain.
How you can 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:
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.
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.
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 pain relief associated with braces. 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.