Do Braces Hurt?

Every patient that comes in for braces wants to know if they hurt. It’s one of our most common questions, and it’s a fair one. 

Orthodontic treatment can seem scary at first, but you have nothing to worry about. Whether you’re seeking braces for a child or braces as an adult, you are in good hands at Chew Dental. 

Dr. Chew has been serving the Fremont, CA community for over 25 years and he's happy to answer any questions you have about braces! 

Do Braces Hurt?

Orthodontics has three treatment phases. The first is the preparation to apply the braces, the second is the treatment itself, and the third is dental care after your braces are removed. 

Braces don't hurt when they're applied, but it's normal to feel discomfort and soreness once they start shifting your teeth.  It’s worth it, though, because they are an investment that you can benefit from for the rest of your life!

How Long Do Braces Hurt?

Soreness is common for the first week or so after first getting braces. During this time, your mouth will adjust to the hardware and it will be less noticeable. 

You may also experience soreness or discomfort in your teeth and gums for one to four days after they are tightened.

Why Do Braces Hurt?

Braces won't hurt all the time. Pain and discomfort are more common right after you first get your braces installed and after each follow-up appointment where you have your braces tightened. 

When you first get your braces installed, your mouth will have to adapt to having extra “stuff” in it. In the meantime, your lips and cheeks may be sore from constant contact with the brackets. 

Fortunately, you can get orthodontic wax to put over your brackets to protect your mouth. This wax is available at almost any store with an oral care section if you didn't get any during your orthodontic visit.

You also may experience soreness or discomfort when your wire gets tightened. This is caused by the additional force applied to your teeth to continue straightening them.

What to Do if Your Braces Hurt

While braces won't hurt all the time, it's completely normal to experience some pain and discomfort during your treatment. Here are some of Dr. Chew's top recommendations on what to do when your braces hurt: 

  • Take over-the-counter pain medicine - If you find yourself experiencing a sensation beyond soreness or mild discomfort, you can take over-the-counter pain medicine as directed. During your first couple of weeks, you can take ibuprofen or naproxen to reduce swelling while you adjust to the hardware. However, after the adjustment period, we recommend acetaminophen.

  • Use dental wax - If your discomfort is caused by your metal brackets or wires poking the inside of your mouth, use dental wax to cover those spots up and alleviate the pain. 

  • Eat soft foods - Your teeth and gums will feel sore, so it's best to eat soft foods. This includes smoothies, ice cream, mashed potatoes, oatmeal, and soft fruits. 

Braces in Fremont, CA

Braces are nothing to fear. If you are thinking about getting them for yourself or your child, give us a call or schedule an appointment online today! The sooner you start your journey, the sooner you can have a healthy smile you’ll want to show off.


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