For a very long time, braces had a bad reputation. They were bulky, noticeable, and even just looked uncomfortable to wear. In many movies and shows, dental professionals and orthodontic treatments were portrayed as scary and torturous. Over the years, this image has changed for the better as braces get sleeker, less noticeable, less invasive, and more comfortable than ever. You might be thinking, “I don’t care about old braces. I want to know about today’s braces! Do modern braces hurt?” We at Levin Orthodontics gladly tell you!
Truthfully, the answer is yes and no. We know, we know, that wasn’t helpful. Before you click away, give us a chance to elaborate!
Why would they hurt?
Removable and fixed braces work by applying gentle pressure to your teeth. This pressure activates a process called “bone remodeling,” which is, in short, the breaking down and reabsorption of bone to allow for teeth movement and stabilization once in their new, permanent positions. Though that process might sound intimidating, we promise it is not as distressing as it might seem on paper.
When do they hurt?
Whether you get fixed or removable braces, your mouth will likely be uncomfortable initially as your gums, teeth, cheek, and tongue become accustomed to having a foreign object rubbing against them and being in the way. The friction might cause slight irritation, but most patients don’t notice it after a few days.
Every few weeks after your initial installment, teeth movement will be created by tightening the wire or putting in a new tray. Your mouth will probably feel sore for a few days after.
Please understand that slight discomfort and aches are normal throughout treatment—your teeth are moving, after all! However, your braces should not cause you unbearable, eye-watering pain. Unless you have suffered from facial trauma or injury, your braces broke, or your clear aligners are deformed or ill-fitting, there should not be any feeling worse than tenderness. If you are feeling abnormally high discomfort and there is no apparent cause, contact us at Levin Orthodontics so we can find and fix the issue immediately.
When should they not?
Getting your braces installed and removed is pain-free. Once your teeth become accustomed to the braces and adjust to the modifications during the adjustment period, you should not experience any unpleasant or harmful sensations from your braces. As we said before, you should not be uncomfortable unless there is something wrong with your braces.
What if they do hurt?
Fortunately, if your braces irritate you, there’s no need to suffer! You can do a few things at home until Dr. Levin can make corrections.
- A mouthguard can prevent damage to your teeth and braces that can be painful, time-consuming to repair, or even permanently alter your smile. Ask Dr. Levin which mouthguard type is best for you.
- Orthodontic wax is a necessity for braces patients. The product creates a barrier to protect your cheek and lip from standard friction during the adjustment period and inhibits poking and pinching from broken wires and brackets.
- Orajel numbs the area of irritation and helps you feel more comfortable, but it won’t prevent the issue from worsening as wax does. If you use a different numbing product, ensure it is safe for the mouth before use. Keep an eye on the area!
- Ice packs can reduce swelling and inflammation and numb the area.
- Gargling warm salt water might not be the best-tasting choice, but it is an easy and natural way to remove bacteria and soothe discomfort.
- Whether in one of the adjustment periods or your braces have broken, eating soft food is a great way to avoid further damage and unnecessary distress.
To begin your orthodontic experience, visit us at Levin Orthodontics!
Though we can’t promise your braces experience will be entirely painless, we can promise that we will do everything in our power to make it as comfortable and pleasant as possible! Levin Orthodontics has created an office environment that sets you and our team members up for success during your visit so that you can be calm during your appointment and confident in the quality of your care. We also provide you with all the necessary information so you can make the safest choices out of the office, too!
Transitioning into orthodontic care has never been easier or less invasive to your lifestyle. To discover which treatment you qualify for, schedule your free consultation at our Sandy Springs or Ebb offices!
If you have questions regarding your braces or need a repair appointment, don’t hesitate to reach out! We’re always here and happy to help!