One of the most commonly asked questions about dental braces is whether placing them causes any pain or discomfort. The honest answer is that braces do not hurt at all when they are applied to the teeth, so there is no reason to be anxious. In most cases, there is mild soreness or discomfort after the orthodontic wire is engaged into the brackets, which may last for a few days.
There are two common types of fixed dental braces that realign the teeth: ceramic fixed braces and metal fixed braces. Both types of fixed appliances include brackets affixed to each individual tooth and an arch wire. The orthodontist fits the arch wire into the bracket slot to gently move the teeth into proper alignment. Elastic or wire ties hold the wire in place. Some orthodontists may use self-ligating brackets, which do not require a rubber or wire tie to secure the wire.
Fixed dental braces help treat a wide variety of malocclusions, including overbite, underbite, crossbite, and overcrowding. If the orthodontist has determined that overcrowding has caused the malocclusion, it is possible that teeth may need to be extracted to increase the amount of available space to properly align the teeth.
What to Expect When Getting Braces
Here is an overview of what you can expect when getting braces:
The placement of braces will not be painful in the slightest. It may take longer to eat meals, but this is largely because it takes some time to adjust to wearing the braces. In some cases, the teeth may feel more sensitive than usual. Hard, difficult-to-chew foods should be avoided in favor of a softer, more liquid-based diet for the first few days after the placement.
2 Days After Placement
The first several days after the placement of braces can be slightly uncomfortable. This is because the teeth are beginning the realignment process and are unused to the pressure of the arch wire and orthodontic elastic bands. The orthodontist will provide relief wax to apply over the braces as necessary. Wax helps provide a smooth surface and alleviates irritation on the inner cheeks and lips. Additionally, over-the-counter pain medication (e.g., Motrin® and Advil®) may be taken as directed to relieve mild soreness.
5 Days After Placement
After five days, any initial discomfort should be completely gone. The teeth will have gradually acclimated to the braces, and eating should be much easier. Certain hard foods may still pose a challenge to the wearer, but normal eating may be resumed at this point.
Regular orthodontic appointments are necessary to allow the orthodontist to change the arch wire, change the rubber or metal ties, and adjust the braces. Fixed braces work by gradually moving the teeth into a new and proper alignment, so gentle pressure needs to be applied constantly. The first several days after an orthodontic adjustment may be slightly uncomfortable. However, this discomfort will quickly fade.
Dealing with Discomfort
Over-the-counter pain medication and orthodontic relief wax will help alleviate any mild soreness and discomfort following placement of braces and orthodontic adjustments. Another effective remedy is to chew sugar-free gum. This increases blood flow, which helps reduces discomfort and can also encourage the teeth to align quicker.
How Do I Find the Best Dentist Near Me for Braces?
Now that you know that braces don’t hurt, you’re ready to take the next step. That means you’ve been asking your friends, “Who is the best dentist near me for braces?” Keep in mind that the best dentist offers a variety of treatment options, including traditional braces, lingual braces, and Invisalign.
When looking for the “best dentist near me,” also consider financing options. Choose a dentist that takes insurance and credit cards, and even offers financing options for extensive treatments.
If you have any questions or concerns about orthodontic treatment, please contact our office.