Does Getting Braces Hurt? HOW TO MAKE BRACES PAIN FREE
When you find out that you need braces, there will be a few things that you will be worried about. The appearance is bound to be the main thing, but you could also be concerned about the pain. You will want to speak to your dentist or orthodontist and ask them “Does getting braces hurt?” It is a question that they will have been asked many times, and they will have had enough feedback from other patients to be able to answer you honestly. It is more likely than not that they will have had braces themselves, so they can speak from experience.
As they are going to be treating you or your children, they know it will be in their best interest to make sure that you know what lies ahead, as they will have to deal with angry and upset patients if they do not. It is going to be a lot easier for you or the family to deal with if you know what is going to happen. You can prepare yourself for the difficult parts and relax when you know that it is the easier bits that are coming up, especially when there is light at the end of the tunnel. There are a lot of things to take into account when it comes to finding out this: does getting braces hurt? You need to consider:
- The patient and their pain threshold. What can be plain sailing for one person could be classed as almost unbearable for another.
- The types of braces that are being attached. Ones that are cemented to the teeth may be more painful than ones that can be removed and allow a little relief to be given.
- The amount of movement that has to happen.
Answering the Question – Does getting Braces Hurt?
Very few people who get braces find that they hurt. It seems that the worst part is having to sit through the impressions, as it can be an unnerving experience. There is bound to be some pain felt over the next few days, but this can be dealt with by over the counter medication and it is a small price to pay to get the smile that you always wanted. Too many people worry about the pain when they are younger and refuse to have the treatment carried out, only to realise later on that it was a mistake and they should have had the work done. There is no problem with getting braces when you are older, but it does mean that you have missed years of having beautiful straight teeth.
It is expected that the pain could last for around a week after the items have been set in place, and also there may be some discomfort after you have had an appointment where the wires or bands have been adjusted. One big surprise will be the effect that wearing braces has on the cheeks and lips. It may be touching them, and you will need to set your mouth in a way that avoids too much contact with them. Modern braces are made of lightweight materials and as a result this eliminates the pain that could have been felt in the past with old style braces. It is expected that everyone will get used to the changes and for most, it will only be over the counter medication that is needed. To prevent the risk of infection, you can gargle with salt water each day, but this clearly will not deal with any pain that is felt.
When questioned about the first few weeks after having braces fitted, the majority of patients said that is was more inconvenient and uncomfortable than painful.
Easing the pain
If you are unfortunate and do suffer pain, then there are several things that you can do. As mentioned there is salt water and over the counter medication, but what do you do if you are unfortunately one of the small number who do feel longer lasting pain? It is to be hoped that you will not, be there is always the risk.
What you eat can have a large impact on how you feel pain. It will not be possible to go straight back to the food that you ate before the braces were fitted. It is advisable to eat just some food for the first few days, and if you plan ahead you will find it less tempting to ignore the advice and go ahead and eat what will risk hurting you. You should aim to eat:
- Mashed or pureed potatoes or vegetables. This will ensure that you are still eating healthy food, and you will feel full once you have finished the meal.
- Stewed apple – it may be most considered baby food, but with ice cream or warm custard, it can be a treat that is easy to eat and not totally un-healthy.
- Scrambled eggs – the toast may have to be omitted, but when you want a little more, add baked beans.
- Certain drinks should be avoided, and this includes the likes of tomato juice and orange juice. Both of these are acidic and can exacerbate any problems that arise.
There is orthodontic wax that can be provided to you and this can be used regularly when the braces are catching your mouth. It is fine to use it as soon as the braces start to feel uncomfortable. The wax can be put onto your fingers and then rub it across the braces and also around the interior of the mouth.
See also, silicone Dental Wax Alternative (OrthoDots) for pain caused by braces.
Mouth ulcers are quite likely as the braces could come into contact with soft tissue. These can be initially treated with a salt water gargle and if that does not work, a treatment meant just for that ailment – there are many branded and generic items on the market.
When will the pain stop?
The pain should stop quickly, but it could take longer to get used to having braces in your mouth. It should take about 4 weeks to be able to talk and eat around them a bit, but then after 3 months you should be able to live as if they were not there. You will be that used to having them. There will likely be intermittent pain, but this is to be expected as the teeth will be starting to move and there could be some pressure in the jaw.
To talk you through what will happen from beginning to end and reassure that when you ask does getting braces hurt, the answer will be not more than you will be able to deal with. Here are some details of what you are going to experience during the lead up to getting braces and having them fitted.
You may chose to get over the counter pain medication before the braces fitting appointment to reduce any discomfort.
Placement appointment – there should not be any pain at this stage. The risk comes when you start to eat as you will not be used to them. Some people may find that they are constantly biting the inside of their mouths until they are used to accommodating the braces. Sensitivity can be an issue, but this should be combated if you follow the rules about only eating soft food for a while and leaving the hard items until you are more used to the braces. There could be some discomfort 2-3 hours after braces placement, although this is not really going to be too painful, as the teeth do begin the journey to their new place.
The following days
It is at this stage you should become aware that the teeth are starting to move and that the braces are being effective in doing their job. The wires are going to be in close contact with the teeth and there is pressure being applied to them. It is now that you should consider using the wax you should have been given. By the time you are reaching the end of the first week, the pain should have gone, or at least be at a level where there is no need to do anything much to deal with it. Certain items of hard food can be tried, but you should still avoid anything that requires a lot of chewing, or an item that may need you to bite down hard to get into your mouth. Common sense should tell you that there are certain items that you should still be avoiding and if you are not aware of what they are then you should ask the orthodontist to tell you.
Chewing gum is going to be a problem as there is a risk of it getting caught in the wires, although of you are careful you will get away with this. Hard candy should also not be eaten as you risk damaging the wires. Baguettes should be avoided due to the small bits that could get caught in the wires. It is common sense really. Think of the make-up of the braces and before you add anything into the diet, consider the damage it may do.
Orthodontic follow up appointments
You should expect to have several follow up appointments when there will be changes made to the braces. The wires can be moved and if there are elastic bands, then they can be changed as well. This is vital to keep the teeth moving and to make sure that they do not move back to where they were when they started. The orthodontist will check that the teeth are moving towards the position that they want them to be in and make adjustments if this does not appear to be happening.
The movements should be slow and gentle, and it can be an issue if they are moving too quickly in the same way that you could have problems if they do not move enough. The changes could instigate a little bit of the discomfort felt at the beginning and you may have to go through the same processes foe a few days. You should try and remember how quickly the pain faded when the brace was first placed and expect it to disappear at least as quickly this time.
Coping with the discomfort
The majority of treatments have already been mentioned but there are a few other things that you can do if you find that you still need a little relief. If you have tried the salt water and wax, you could ask for over the counter painkiller. If you do this, it should be taken for as short a period as possible and not go above the recommended dosage. The sooner you can get back to normal with the braces the better, as you don’t want to start relying on any sort of drugs even if over the counter.
A final solution is temporary chewing on gum, but this must be used carefully. As you can use the salt water wash a dozen times a day if you can stand it, hopefully that will be enough but if it is not, then select some sugar free gum. You don’t want to risk using anything that could lead to decay. When chewing gum, there will be an increase in the flow of blood to the teeth that are being used to hold the braces. This should have a twofold action as it will help with the pain, but also ensure that the teeth move towards their correct position at the right speed.
Many women say that childbirth is so painful but that it is worth it in the end when they see the end result. Any discomfort of having braces is not comparable to child birth because braces discomfort is very small. It would be wrong to class the discomfort of braces with that, but there is the same feeling of happiness at the end and you are happy with what you have. What you have been through is well worth it due to the beautiful new teeth that you can show off to the world. When there is any pain, it is reassuring to know that there is something that will be able to relieve it and as long as you select a caring and experienced orthodontist, you will be in good hands.