Do braces really hurt? This is a very common question among the people who have been meaning to get dental braces. So, is it painful to wear braces? To be honest, braces can feel very uncomfortable during the first few days or a few weeks. Mainly owing to their unfamiliarity inside the mouth cavity. However, once you get accustomed to it, they stop being too much of a bother.
The reason why braces do not feel so comfortable is because they are made out of wire and brackets, which are tightened for the sake of applying pressure.
Under the applied force, the teeth are constantly under stress and changing their position, thereby causing uncomfortable pain.
The other reason why braces hurt is because the arch wires and the brackets are in direct contact with the soft lining inside the mouth.
Therefore, they can easily scratch the soft lining and cause irritation. Since the skin inside the mouth can be very sensitive, it can take a very long time to get accustomed to braces.
Those who are not entertained by the prospect of having to wear braces can also try out the invisible aligners as these fit perfectly upon the teeth and have neither the arch wires nor the brackets to cause irritation.
People of all ages usually experience the similar type of pain and discomfort with the use of braces.
The following section will throw a better light on the experiences during different stages of the orthodontic treatment through braces and some handy tips to deal with the pain.
Day of the Placement
The patient may not feel the slightest amount of pain on the day of placing the braces. However, the unfamiliar feeling of having something within the mouth can be very discomforting, especially while eating meals.
It can take a very long time for patients to get accustomed to chewing food or brushing teeth with the braces on.
Some people may also experience a heightened sensitivity in their teeth with the braces on. If it feels too uncomfortable, make it a point to avoid hard foods that need chewing.
Instead, you can opt for softer foods like yogurt, soups, shakes, mashed potatoes and so on. As the discomfort starts to lessen, you can gradually move back to the regular food.
Two or Three Days After Placement
Due to the constant pressure, the first few days of wearing braces can feel very uncomfortable. This is mainly because the realignment process will have begun and some teeth will have already started to move.
During this time, silicone or relief wax can be applied over the braces so as to ease the pain. Wax can help in creating a smooth surface and lubricating the skin inside the mouth so that the irritation form arch wire is alleviated.
Pain medications such as Advil and Motrin can also be used if you are not allergic to them. If the pain is consistent, you can also try out frequent salt water rinses.
Five days After Placement
If you happened to experience pain and discomfort during the initial few days of wearing, it should subside within five days or get lessened by a huge degree.
By this time, the teeth will have adjusted themselves to the pressure from the braces and you will no longer feel the constant rubbing of arch wire against your cheek.
Eating becomes much easier and you can gradually switch back to normal eating. However, make sure that you are not eating very hard foods such as popcorns or carrots.
There are certain foods that are actually tagged as brace breakers. Even if things seem to be under control, avoid these foods for the sake of prudence.
Appointments for Tightening
Braces do not always retain their shape after you have started wearing them. They mainly produce results by applying constant pressure and forcing the teeth back into their proper position.
However, if they happen to lose form, the corrective pressure applied to the teeth will not be enough.
Therefore, it becomes necessary to make frequent visits to the orthodontist for an assessment of the braces and get them tightened of required.
Patients wearing braces are advised to visit the orthodontist every once in a few weeks. During these appointments, the orthodontist makes an evaluation of the teeth and checks the pressure on the braces.
Since braces tend to constantly lose their pressure after constantly tugging at the teeth, they fail to remain effective after a certain period of time.
For the correction, the dentist may tighten either of the springs, elastic bands or wires and have the tension increased once again.
Do braces hurt after the tightening? Tightening of the braces can cause soreness and pain at least for a few days.
However, the discomfort will not be as bad as you felt when you first had your braces on. You will eventually get used to the increased pressure in just a few days. You can also use an over the counter pain medication for relief.
After Having them Removed
Unlike most other dental procedures, removing the braces is not painful at all. After having them removed the patient will be given a thorough dental cleaning following which, a few set of impressions and X rays are taken to determine the effectiveness of the braces.
Sometimes, braces are also removed in haste if there are wisdom teeth coming up. Wearing braces during the growth period of wisdom teeth can actually push them out of alignment. Therefore, it counts to keep a close check and consult the doctor if any problem seems evident.
Taking off the braces can be a great relief. You will be grateful that you had the patience to bear through the entire treatment process.
They are only worn to retain the shape of the new alignment. Retainers are mostly worn only during the night and should not cause too much of a discomfort.