A very common question about braces is “How much will these things hurt?” You probably won’t feel any pain at all during the procedure, but your teeth and gums will probably be a little sore afterwards.
Here is an overview of when you might feel pain or discomfort during your treatment:
Day of Placement: You should not feel any pain or discomfort. In the first few hours after you get your braces, it may be slightly more difficult to chew or talk. This is totally normal, but it usually isn’t because of pain. You’re just getting used to having braces! In some cases, the teeth may feel more sensitive than usual. If so, stick with soft foods and you’ll be good to go. Some people report slight pain or discomfort toward the end of the first day as their teeth begin to shift.
A Few Days After Placement: This is when things might get a little uncomfortable. Your teeth are beginning to realign and the pressure of the archwire and elastic ties is new. Your orthodontist should provide you with relief wax/silicone to apply over the braces as necessary. If the pain is distracting to you, over-the-counter pain medication may be taken as directed.
Five Days After Placement: Usually by this time, any initial pain or discomfort should be gone or getting much better. Eating should feel a lot better, too! Just make sure to avoid any foods that could damage the actual braces.
General Appointments: You will be visiting the orthodontist for routine maintenance. Braces work by gradually moving your teeth, so subtle adjustments need to be made throughout the treatment process. The first several days after these appointments may be slightly uncomfortable, but just remember that it will fade quickly!
If you are really struggling to ease the pain after you get your braces put on, or simply looking to take your mind off it, there are a couple of things you can try:
-Eating soft foods like smoothies, mashed potatoes, macaroni and cheese, applesauce, and scrambled eggs.
-Over the counter pain relievers like ibuprofen and aspirin
-Orthodontic wax applied to the brackets that are rubbing the inside of your mouth.
-Avoiding acidic foods and drinks that might irritate your mouth
-Using rigorous salt-water rinses