Do Braces Hurt?
We want your treatment to go as quickly and as comfortably as possible to reach your great smile. We do a whole bunch of things to help you reach that goal with comfort in the shortest time possible. From the braces and wires we use, to the timing of your treatment.
But we want you to know what you can do yourself to make your treatment more comfortable.
So first things first – do braces hurt?
At times – yes – your teeth will be cranky and let you know.
Teeth basically just want to be left alone, but teeth are like the rest of us- they hate change. So it’s not pressure on your teeth that hurts but changes in pressure.
When you first get your braces on, the change in pressure is most noticeable and more uncomfortable. The braces, wires and elastics we use to move your teeth place a much more steady and gentle pressure on your teeth. So there’s a lot less discomfort now than there used to be with the older style of braces. Now not everyone uses this gentler system. It’s the only one I use because it feels better and steady gentle pressure moves your teeth better and faster – nature does things the same way – steady and gentle. With this system of braces, the pressure does not have to be adjusted as often, so it’s much more comfortable.
So what can you do to make your braces feel better?
Rinsing with cool water or a cool drink can relax the wires and reduce the pressure for more comfort – especially just after we’ve placed a new wire or when a tooth is hooked up for the first time.
Your teeth aren’t really bothered by pressure, but changes in pressure. So when we change the wire, the new pressure can make your teeth sore. But not always. A change in your braces may not bother you at all. At other times a tooth can become sensitive for no obvious reason.
No matter what, cool water to your teeth and Advil or ibuprofen are the best ways to make yourself comfortable. If you can’t take aspirin type medications, use Tylenol or acetaminophen
Brushing your teeth will also make your teeth and gums feel better. Clean teeth feel better and move faster. Healthier gums have a better blood supply to let teeth move faster.
And as your teeth get straighter, it’ll get easier to clean them. Getting in by the gum line is the key.
If a tooth is little sore, you may be tempted to avoid brushing it or do it less. Don’t give into this! Keep brushing by those gums! And anytime your gums bleed, those gums are begging to be brushed more! Not less!
It can feel uncomfortable to brush by the gums until your gums get used to it, but normal healthy gums feel good when you brush them. If your gums don’t feel good to brush them – brush them more! With a soft bristle toothbrush!
You can also run hot water over your toothbrush bristles to make them super soft to be extra gentle.Brushing and cleaning a sore area or a gum that bleeds will feel better. Avoiding the area will make it worse.Chewing on a small piece of gum can help make your teeth feel better too. Just keep the pressure off the brace itself until the gum softens up.
If you ever have discomfort that’s unusual or concerns you – call or text us – we’re happy to see you or give you some advice.
And don’t forget to keep seeing your dentist for regular checkups and cleanings during your braces. Your dentist is in the comfort business.