Do Braces Hurt? How To Get Rid Of Braces Pain: A Comprehensive Guide

This guide offers a comprehensive overview of braces pain and discomfort, providing practical tips and remedies to help patients manage pain and enjoy a smoother orthodontic experience.

12 min readDo Braces Hurt? How to Get Rid of Braces Pain: A Comprehensive Guide

Orthodontic treatments, like braces, are a popular method for correcting misaligned teeth and improving your smile. However, a significant concern for those considering braces is the level of discomfort or pain they may experience during the course of treatment, hence the reason they might search ‘braces tightened pain’, ‘teeth hurt with braces’, or ‘braces cutting mouth’ online.

In this in-depth guide, we will not only address questions related to braces pain but also offer valuable tips and techniques for dealing with discomfort while wearing braces.

We’ll also discuss some common issues that may arise during your orthodontic journey, giving you a complete understanding of the process and how to maintain a positive mindset toward achieving your perfect smile!

Do Braces Hurt? The Basics Of Pain And Discomfort

It's essential to understand that the process of teeth straightening and realignment might cause some level of pain or discomfort. This is because metal braces apply constant pressure to the teeth, gradually shifting them to the correct positions. Each patient's experience with braces pain may vary, with some people finding it more tolerable than others – but one thing is sure: braces cost more than just the money you spend on them!

Causes Of Braces Pain And Discomfort

There are several potential reasons for braces pain and discomfort, some of the most common include:

  • Initial placement of braces: The first few days of wearing braces can be uncomfortable as teeth begin to shift.
  • Tightening or adjusting braces: Regular appointments with the orthodontist may involve adjusting the wires or bands, which can cause increased pressure on the teeth.
  • Mouth irritation: Brackets, bands, and wires can rub against the cheeks or lips, causing irritation or sores.

Strategies For Relieving Braces Pain And Discomfort

There are many techniques and remedies available for managing braces pain and discomfort:

  • Over-the-counter pain relief: Non-prescription analgesics like ibuprofen can help relieve braces pain at home (and even inflammation).
  • Orthodontic wax: Applying a small amount of orthodontic wax to the brackets or wires can provide a protective barrier and reduce irritation.
  • Oral anesthetic: Products containing benzocaine can help numb the affected area, providing temporary relief from pain and discomfort.
  • Icy beverages and cold foods: Consuming cold drinks, ice cream, or popsicles can help alleviate inflammation and numb the area.
  • Soft diet: Sticking to a soft food diet while experiencing braces pain can minimize additional pressure on teeth.

Common Concerns And How To Address Them

Here are a few common concerns individuals face while wearing braces and ways to address them:

  • Difficulty cleaning teeth: Proper oral health is crucial, and flossing or using an interdental brush can help clean those hard-to-reach areas.
  • Discomfort during sports: Wearing an orthodontic mouthguard can offer extra protection and prevent additional pain or injuries.
  • Fear of embarrassment: Embrace the process, knowing that braces are temporary solutions aimed at achieving a perfect smile in the end.

The Different Stages Of Pain

Orthodontic treatments are becoming increasingly popular as people look for ways to enhance their smiles and achieve optimal dental health. However, many individuals, especially those considering getting braces for the first time, worry about the potential discomfort associated with the procedure.

In this section, we'll examine the amount of pain or discomfort you might experience when braces are removed and when they are tightened.

When Braces Are Removed

The process of removing braces is a common concern among patients who are nearing the end of their orthodontic treatment. The good news is that the removal of braces is generally a painless experience. During the procedure, the orthodontist carefully detaches the brackets from the surface of the teeth, which most patients describe as feeling a slight pressure, but not pain.

Once your braces have been removed, you may experience some tooth sensitivity and soreness. This is normal and can be attributed to the fact that your teeth have been repositioned and have experienced pressure over time. Thankfully, these post-removal sensations usually dissipate within a few days, allowing you to enjoy your newly straightened teeth without discomfort.

When Braces Are Tightened

The tightening of braces is a crucial part of the orthodontic process as it adjusts the tension on the archwire, gradually guiding your teeth into their desired alignment. Understandably, this procedure can lead to some temporary discomfort or tightness in the teeth and gums for a few days following the adjustment.

It's essential to recognize that experiencing some level of pain or discomfort when braces are tightened is entirely normal and serves as an indication that your teeth are moving into their correct positions. The primary reason why teeth and gums may hurt after braces are tightened is due to the pressure exerted on them by the archwire. However, with time, your teeth and gums will gradually adapt to the pressure, and the discomfort will decrease, often resolving within a few days.

In both cases, it's crucial to maintain open communication with your orthodontist, as they can provide guidance and suggestions on how to minimize or manage any pain or discomfort that might arise during your orthodontic treatment. This will ensure a smoother treatment process and a more comfortable journey toward your ideal smile.

Tips For Braces Pain Relief: A Comprehensive Guide

Experiencing pain or discomfort as a result of braces is quite common, but there are effective ways to alleviate the pain and make your orthodontic journey more comfortable. Here, we will unveil six practical tips to help you achieve braces pain relief.

Good Dental Hygiene: The Foundation Of Pain Relief

One of the most crucial aspects of managing braces-related pain is maintaining excellent oral hygiene. Ensuring that your teeth and braces are clean can help to minimize discomfort, allowing your mouth to feel more comfortable and reducing the chances of inflammation or infection.

Regular Brushing

To maintain good dental hygiene with braces, it's essential to brush your teeth thoroughly at least twice a day, preferably after every meal. This helps to remove food particles that may get lodged between your teeth and braces, which can cause discomfort or even lead to more severe dental issues.

Flossing with Braces

Additionally, flossing becomes even more important when you're wearing braces to keep your teeth and gums healthy. It might be challenging to floss with braces, but there are specialized flossing tools available, like orthodontic flossers or water flossers, designed to make it easier to clean between your teeth and around your braces.

Using Mouthwash

Using an antimicrobial mouthwash can also aid in maintaining oral hygiene while wearing braces. Rinsing with mouthwash can further help to dislodge trapped food particles, kill bacteria, and promote a healthy environment in your mouth, all of which can contribute to braces pain relief.

By establishing and maintaining a thorough dental hygiene routine, you'll not only prevent potential dental problems but also alleviate the pain and discomfort caused by your braces.

Soft Foods To Soothe Sore Teeth And Gums After Braces Adjustment

When you experience soreness in your teeth and gums due to the tightening or adjustment of your braces, incorporating soft foods into your diet can help alleviate any discomfort you might be feeling. Soft foods have a gentle effect on your teeth and gums, allowing them to recover more easily and minimizing the overall impact of dental work.

Here are some examples of soft food options that you can incorporate into your meal plan:

  • Mashed potatoes: Creamy and smooth, mashed potatoes are not only easy to chew but also provide a source of energy and essential nutrients, like potassium and vitamins B6 and C.
  • Yogurt: Packed with protein and calcium, yogurt is gentle on your teeth and provides probiotics that promote a healthy gut. Choose plain, unsweetened yogurt for the best health benefits, and consider adding soft fruits like bananas or berries for added flavor and nutrients.
  • Soups: Warm, nourishing soups are an ideal choice for easing discomfort after braces adjustments. Opt for creamy soups or broths with soft vegetables and tender meats to minimize any pressure on your teeth while eating.
  • Applesauce: Naturally soft and easy to eat, applesauce is a healthy option that contains fiber and vitamin C. Opt for unsweetened varieties to reduce added sugar.
  • Custards and puddings: Soft, creamy, and comforting, custards and puddings can provide a sweet treat while minimizing irritation to your teeth and gums.
  • Scrambled eggs: High in protein and easy to chew, scrambled eggs are a nutritious and gentle choice for those with sore teeth.

As your teeth and gums recover, you can gradually reintroduce your regular diet. It's important to monitor your soreness levels and adjust your food choices accordingly to ensure you don't prolong your recovery period. Try adding solid foods one at a time, and continue to consume softer foods as needed to maintain a comfortable eating experience.

Gum Massage

Performing a gentle gum massage can contribute to overall dental health by increasing blood circulation and reducing gum inflammation. To give your gums a massage, use a clean finger or opt for a small, soft-bristled toothbrush specifically designed for gum care. Apply gentle pressure and circular motions to your gums for a couple of minutes each day. This daily practice not only helps relieve discomfort but may also prevent future dental issues by maintaining a healthy oral environment.

Warm Rinse

An effective way to counteract inflammation and alleviate soreness is by swishing warm salt water around in your mouth for about one or two minutes at a time. This homemade remedy helps to create a soothing effect on irritated gums. Keep in mind to avoid swallowing the solution, as it can upset your stomach.

Utilizing Cold Ice Water As A Temporary Relief

For a quick respite from oral discomfort, try gargling with cold water, or gently suck on small ice chips to numb painful areas within your mouth. Chewing on ice, however, may lead to further dental issues as it could cause damage to your braces or tooth enamel so refrain from doing so.

Oral Anesthetics As A Comfort Measure

Over-the-counter oral anesthetics or pain relievers can significantly dampen discomfort caused by braces, particularly during the initial days of adjustment. However, prescriptions are not followed half of the time, according to statistics. So make sure to have consultations with your orthodontist or dentist for appropriate medication recommendations and dosage instructions. This measure can ensure that you're using a safe, suitable, and successful solution for your braces-related pain.

Eliminating Discomfort For Good: Tips And Recommendations

Experiencing some discomfort after getting braces is normal; however, these negative sensations should subside relatively quickly and not cause any long-term pain. If you're struggling with persistent pain or discomfort associated with your braces, it's crucial to identify and address the potential causes, such as loose brackets, poking wires, or issues with the fit of your orthodontic appliance. In this section, we'll provide you with guidance on how to eliminate discomfort and identify any problems you might be facing with your braces to ensure a smooth tooth-straightening journey.

Potential Dentist-Fixable Causes Of Discomfort And Pain

  • Loose brackets: Brackets are the small squares that adhere to your teeth and hold the wires together. These brackets can sometimes become loose due to the natural wear and tear of the braces, potentially leading to discomfort.
  • Poking wires: When wires aren't trimmed correctly, they can poke the sensitive tissues inside your mouth and cause irritation or pain.
  • Issues with the fit of your braces: Properly fitted braces are essential for effective treatment and minimal discomfort. If your braces are too tight or have been improperly positioned, they might cause strain on your teeth and jaw, leading to pain.

Home Tips For Eliminating Discomfort

  1. Adjust your diet: Stick to easily chewable foods and steer clear of hard or crunchy items that could damage your braces, as well as sticky and chewy foods that could get caught in your braces and add to your discomfort.
  2. Maintain good oral hygiene: Gently brush your teeth twice a day and consider using a water flosser to remove food debris from hard-to-reach areas between the teeth and around the braces.
  3. Use dental wax: Applying dental wax over any sharp edges or poking wires can help minimize irritation by providing a protective barrier between your braces and the sensitive tissues inside your mouth.

If your pain persists for more than a week or becomes unbearable, it's crucial to consult your orthodontist to rule out any serious complications and adjust your braces accordingly. They can help with adjusting your braces for better comfort, trimming any poking wires, or even providing ample guidance on keeping up with oral hygiene practices specific to braces-wearers.

Remember, experiencing mild discomfort in the beginning is expected and should not discourage you from continuing with orthodontic treatment. By following these tips and recommendations, you'll be able to alleviate any braces-related pain more effectively and confidently move towards a healthier, straighter smile.

Side Effects Of Wearing Braces For Too Long

When patients fail to follow the recommended time frame and continue wearing braces for an extended period, several undesirable side effects may occur. This comprehensive overview outlines the potential consequences of wearing braces for too long:

Tooth Decay

Wearing braces for an excessive amount of time makes it difficult to maintain proper dental hygiene, apply at-home teeth whitening remedies, or use natural teeth whitening strategies to keep plaque off of your smile.

As a result, trapped food particles and debris can accumulate around the brackets and wires. When this debris is left unattended, plaque forms, and bacteria start to flourish. Over time, this accumulation can cause tooth decay and periodontis, leading to cavities and other dental problems.

In order to mitigate the risk of tooth decay, it is crucial for individuals with braces to develop a thorough dental cleaning routine involving regular brushing, flossing, and using mouthwash. This ensures that the teeth remain as clean as possible and that the chances of tooth decay are significantly minimized. It’s the cheapest teeth whitening option you’ll ever get – so why not take full advantage of it?

Gum Disease

Another side effect of wearing braces for too long is an increased risk of gum disease. Inadequate oral hygiene may contribute to gum inflammation, characterized by redness, swelling, and bleeding. When left untreated, this inflammation can progress into an infection known as periodontitis, which affects not only the gums but also the underlying bone and ligament structures that support the teeth.

To maintain good gum health and prevent gum disease, it is essential for individuals to maintain a thorough dental care routine while wearing braces. This includes regularly brushing and flossing around the braces, using an antimicrobial mouthwash to reduce bacteria, and attending regular dental appointments. By following these preventative measures, individuals can significantly lower their risk of developing gum disease while wearing braces for an extended period.

Teeth Whitening With Braces

Teeth whitening with braces is definitely possible – but many people who wear braces for a prolonged period of time suffer from dark spots in and around where they miss brushing their teeth with braces.

As mentioned earlier, braces can make the act of robust dental cleaning particularly difficult. Doubly so if you have lingual braces (since they go behind the tooth), ceramic braces (since it’s difficult to see where you need to clean), or strange brace colors. Keeping clean teeth with braces is thus a challenge… but it pays dividends when you finally get them off!

Learn more about braces pain by reading our answers to the most frequently asked questions below.

What To Do If You Have A Toothache While On Braces?

If you find yourself dealing with a toothache while wearing braces, there are several methods you can try to alleviate the discomfort. These solutions may include rinsing with warm salt water, applying a cold compress to the affected area, or using over-the-counter pain relievers like acetaminophen or ibuprofen. If your toothache persists or becomes more severe, it's important to consult your orthodontist or dentist for a proper evaluation and treatment plan.

Why Is One Of My Teeth Hurting With Braces?

There are several reasons why one tooth hurts with braces on. Some common causes include a loose bracket, a poking wire, or uneven pressure from the archwire. In any case, it's vital to consult your orthodontist if you're experiencing discomfort or pain in a specific tooth. They can identify the cause of the problem and make any necessary corrections or adjustments, ensuring a more comfortable orthodontic experience.

Can Braces Make A Tooth Sensitive?

Yes, braces can indeed cause tooth sensitivity. The pressure exerted on the teeth during orthodontic treatment may lead to temporary sensitivity, particularly when consuming hot or cold foods and beverages. Typically, this sensitivity is temporary and will subside as your teeth and gums adjust to your braces.

Can Braces Cause Throbbing Tooth Pain?

Although it's relatively rare, braces can sometimes cause throbbing tooth pain due to excessive pressure exerted by the orthodontic treatment. If you're experiencing throbbing pain or severe discomfort while wearing braces, it's essential to consult your orthodontist as soon as possible. They can evaluate your situation and make necessary adjustments to alleviate the pain and ensure proper orthodontic treatment.

How To Stop Braces From Cutting Your Cheeks?

If your braces are causing irritation or cuts on your cheeks, you can use orthodontic wax to cover any sharp edges on the brackets or wires that may be causing the issue. Additionally, you should speak to your orthodontist about any persistent discomfort or irritation, as they may be able to adjust or trim the braces to prevent further issues.

How Long Will Braces Cut My Cheek?

The initial period of discomfort from braces cutting the inside of your mouth can last for a few days to a week after getting braces or following an adjustment. If the problem persists beyond this time frame or worsens, consult your orthodontist for further evaluation and possible adjustments.

How To Stop Braces Pain After Tightening?

To alleviate braces pain after tightening, it's essential to maintain good dental hygiene, consume soft foods, and use warm salt water rinses to reduce swelling and discomfort. Additionally, over-the-counter pain medications can be helpful in managing pain as your teeth adjust to the new tension.

Why Can't I Eat Anything With Braces On?

Individuals with braces must avoid certain types of foods, particularly sticky, chewy, or hard items, as these can damage the brackets or wires of the braces. Instead, it's essential to consume softer foods that are easy to chew and won't interfere with your orthodontic appliances.

How Long Until It Stops Hurting To Eat With Braces On?

The discomfort experienced while eating with braces should subside within a week or less. If discomfort persists or worsens, it's essential to consult your orthodontist for advice and potential adjustments.

How Long Do Braces Hurt On The First Day?

On the first day of wearing braces, it's normal to experience mild to moderate discomfort that may last anywhere from a few hours to several days. Gradually, the discomfort will subside as your mouth, teeth, and gums adjust to the new orthodontic appliances.

Does Pain Due To Braces Mean It's Working?

While braces pain does indicate that your teeth are shifting into the desired position, the absence of pain doesn't necessarily mean the braces aren't working. It's important to trust the orthodontic process and consult your orthodontist if you have any concerns or questions about your treatment progress.

Do Braces Make You Lose Weight?

Research shows that the body mass index may decrease during the first months of the installation of braces and increase again at the end of its first year. However, it also says that the changes were not that significant compared to improvement of self-esteem.

Braces may lead to some temporary dietary restrictions, but they typically do not cause significant weight loss. It's essential to eat a balanced diet, even with limitations in food texture, to maintain your overall wellbeing and support your orthodontic treatment.

How Can I Survive My First Week With Braces?

Surviving your first week with braces is largely about adapting to your new orthodontic appliances, practicing proper oral hygiene, and managing pain or discomfort using the tips outlined in this article.

Why Do Braces Hurt So Much At Night?

Braces pain might feel more severe at night for several reasons, including a lack of distractions, reduced saliva production, and lying down. To alleviate nighttime discomfort, try warm saltwater rinses, over-the-counter pain relievers, or ice packs to help reduce inflammation and promote a more restful night's sleep.