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Do braces hurt?

Wondering if it hurts to have braces? Our dentists in Abbotsford share how you can avoid pain during and after having braces. 

Braces as a Cosmetic Dental Treatment

Orthodontic treatment (with braces or clear aligners) is serious dental treatment which involves a significant investment of time and effort. With orthodontic treatment, many oral health conditions and disorders can be corrected, including misalignments of the teeth and jaw. 

However, you can also see significant cosmetic benefits as a result of treatment with braces; specifically, a straighter, more symmetrical smile. Many people get braces to correct minor misalignments that don't cause them any inconvenience or discomfort, but that can make them feel somewhat 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.

Many patients experience some soreness or discomfort for the first few days after their braces are placed, or their brackets or wires are adjusted. 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.

You’ll be relieved to know that the appliances and wires we use are modern, and designed to exert light, gradual, continuous pressure on your teeth so as not to cause undue pain.

What can I do to 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:

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.

Use special wax or silicone

As your teeth and mouth grow used to being realigned — and contending with braces, archwires and elastic ties — you may sometimes feel some discomfort. 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.

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).

Chew sugar-free gum

A little-known tip but one we often suggest: chewing sugar-free gum can help increase blood flow to the structures around your teeth, which can help alleviate discomfort.

Though you may feels some discomfort in the days after braces are placed or adjusted, this should quickly fade.

Do you want to learn more about braces? Contact our Abbotsford dentists to book an appointment today. 

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