If your orthodontist has recommended that you (or your child) get dental braces, you may be concerned about the pain and discomfort associated with the process. So, do braces hurt? The answer: they don’t have to. Below we’ll discuss some of the factors that can contribute to dental soreness and what you can do to relieve any discomfort.
Do Braces Hurt?
Having braces put on your teeth shouldn’t hurt, although you may feel some pressure or pinching during the process. However, a few hours after your appointment, you may notice some pressure or soreness in your gums or even a straining sensation as your teeth slowly shift to accommodate the braces.
You’ll then need to regularly visit the orthodontist to have your braces adjusted, usually once every few weeks. Like the initial appointment, this adjustment can cause post-appointment pressure and soreness as your teeth adjust to their new positions. And this soreness is actually a good thing—if you don’t feel any different after your braces have been tightened, this could be a sign that they’re not doing their job of shifting your teeth.
How to Prevent Braces Pain
Do braces hurt? Most people don’t even notice the pressure after a couple of days. But if you’d like to mitigate the effect of having your braces put on or adjusted, there are a few steps you can take.
Eat Soft and Cold Food
Your orthodontist will give you a list of foods to eat (and foods to avoid). Sticking to soft or chilled foods for a day or two after your braces are put on can reduce soreness. Some good foods for sore teeth include ice cream and frozen yogurt, mashed potatoes, gelatin, macaroni and cheese, smoothies, and oatmeal.
Use Acetaminophen or Other Pain Relievers
You can use acetaminophen, ibuprofen, naproxen sodium, or other OTC pain relievers to reduce inflammation and numb the pain. Discuss with your orthodontist whether it makes sense for you to preemptively take a pain reliever or two before you head in for a visit.
Do braces hurt? Not as much as you might think. If you’re ready to get started on your journey toward straighter teeth, contact Roeder Orthodontics today to set up an appointment.