Does Getting Braces Hurt?
One of the biggest questions many have patients have when they hear that they need orthodontic treatment is a simple, “Does it hurt?” Having a great smile and a healthy mouth is important, but the idea of months or even years of discomfort in order to get that treatment seems daunting, especially if they’ve heard friends complain about the discomfort associated with braces in the past. Understanding what it’s like to get braces, however, can make it easier to get through the process. Dr. Barakat and the team at Barakat Orthodontics is always available to provide guidance during your orthodontic journey. Some of the questions our patients have asked in the past are:
Does Getting Braces Hurt?
The process of having braces put on your teeth is not painful. You’ll have to sit with your mouth open for a while, the length of time will depend on how many brackets you’re having put on and what type of appliances you need for your treatment, but it can generally be accomplished within a couple of hours. Other than the occasional bad taste, there’s nothing painful in the process of putting braces on your teeth.
Will My Mouth Be Sore After Braces are Put On?
Most patients note that their teeth and gums are a little bit sore after having braces put on or tightened. It’s especially uncomfortable the first time. Most of the time, this pain eases within a few days, and it’s rare for it to last a full week. Patients tend to find braces annoying, rather than actually painful. During the early days after braces are put on, it can be helpful to eat soft foods in order to help alleviate discomfort.
What Types of Discomfort Can I Expect with Braces?
You’ve probably heard people complaining about braces in the past, and frankly, having a mouth full of metal just sounds uncomfortable! Fortunately, the discomfort associated with wearing braces tends to be relatively minor. Most patients find that within six months, they no longer notice that their braces are there. There are, however, some types of discomfort that you may experience.
Soreness in your teeth when your braces are tightened. This is normal and usually goes away within a few days after tightening. Over-the-counter pain relievers, when taken as recommended, usually alleviate this discomfort.
Pain from rubbing brackets. In the early days after you get your braces, your new brackets may rub raw spots inside your cheeks and lips. There are several steps you can take to alleviate this discomfort and make it easier to deal with your braces.
- Use the wax provided by Barakat Orthodontics over the painful, rubbing brackets. This will prevent them from further irritating that area.
- Avoid highly acidic foods and drinks, like orange juice and soda, when you have particularly painful spots in your mouth. This will prevent them from getting irritated and feeling worse.
- Swish salt water to help sores in your mouth heal faster.
- Use Orajel or similar products to help alleviate the pain from sores, especially if it’s interfering with your ability to eat normally.
Discomfort from snapping rubber bands. A quick flash of pain when a rubber band snaps is avoidable. Replacing your rubber bands regularly and taking them out as instructed will help keep the bands strong and help prevent them from snapping inside your mouth.
Getting your braces may be uncomfortable, but it’s a discomfort that’s well worth it in the end! Any time you experience serious pain as a result of your braces, you should talk with your orthodontist. In some cases, it may be possible to adjust the course of your treatment in order to account for potential discomfort, making it easier to carry on with everyday activities in spite of your braces. There’s no need to be afraid that your orthodontic treatment will cause pain. Instead, come to Barakat Orthodontics excited that you’re on your way to the smile you’ve always dreamed of. To schedule a complimentary consultation with Dr. Barakat, use our online scheduling tool or contact us at (703) 433-9330.