The day you get your braces on is very exciting! We have a lot of patients ask how much braces hurt on a scale of 1-10. The truth is, the initial placement of your braces does not hurt at all! It is common to experience a dull soreness for a few days after your first braces appointment. After all, your braces are doing their job and your teeth are adjusting (quite literally) to their new position!
Throughout your orthodontic treatment, you’ll visit our office every 8 to 10 weeks for Dr. King to monitor your progress and make any necessary adjustments to your treatment plan. He will also adjust or “tighten” your wires to keep your new smile on the right track.
After these adjustment appointments, you may experience some tenderness, but this is normal; any soreness will go away within a few days. In the meantime, while your teeth are adjusting, here are some braces pain hacks to help minimize any discomfort!
Getting Your Braces On
The process of getting your braces on (bonding brackets to your teeth and attaching your archwires) generally takes anywhere from one to two hours.
You won’t experience any pain, discomfort or soreness when we place your brackets on and attach your wires.(Your mouth will remain open while we’re placing your braces on, so it’s a good idea to use chapstick and stay hydrated prior to your appointment to avoid cracked lips!) Dr. King will apply the brackets to your teeth using special tooth-colored dental cement and a lighted wand to bond the brackets in place.
Once your brackets have been strategically placed, the archwire will be fed through each of the brackets and cut on each end. This is when we’ll ask you to run your tongue over the ends of your archwires to ensure there are no loose or poking ends.
To finish things off, you will get to pick out the color of your ligatures, which are the little rubber bands that give your braces color and hold your wires in place. This is one of the best parts of the braces experience, where you can really show off your personality!
While there is no pain in the initial placement of your braces, it is normal to experience some mild soreness a few hours after your appointment.
How to Relieve Braces Pain or Discomfort
It typically takes about 6 to 8 hours, post-application, to begin feeling the effects of your braces. What you are feeling is the archwires exerting force onto your teeth to guide them into their new alignment.
This force is gentle but persistent, so it can take some getting used to. As you get used to your braces, your teeth and jaw might ache and feel a bit tender. Minor soreness is normal, but severe or shooting pain is not normal and should be brought to Dr. King’s attention immediately.You should never feel any severe pain during braces treatment.
The initial aches and discomfort should only last about 3 to 5 days, with improvements each day. You can get a head start on any discomfort or pain from your braces by taking an over-the-counter pain reliever before you go in for your first braces appointment. This way, the pain reliever will have started working by the time you need it! While not all patients need a pain reliever, you may continue to take them for the first few days while following dosage instructions.
Be Prepared Before Leaving Your Appointment!
After getting your braces on, including future adjustments, don’t leave the office until you can check off each of these points:
- Check your wire ends. Use your finger or tongue to make sure there aren’t any wires that might poke your cheeks or tongue. Sometimes the wire just needs trimming a little more on the end! If you find that you are experiencing a pokey wire after you’ve left the office, use some orthodontic wax and give us a call to get it taken care of.
- Understand what is going on. Be sure to ask plenty of questions to ensure that you understand what you need to do before your next appointment. This could mean wearing your appliances correctly, using elastics, or following specific hygiene guidelines.
- Double check your supplies. Ask us for plenty of orthodontic wax, elastic bands or other related materials that you may need before your next appointment.
Still Have Questions About Braces Pain Relief?
We want you to be excited to undergo braces treatment, and we want you to have a comfortable experience along the way! If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact our office. Or if you’re ready to take the first step toward your new smile, request your complimentary consultation today!. We are excited to meet you!