Do braces hurt, and how can you ease the pain?

It’s a bit of a worry, and probably playing on your mind if you’re thinking of getting braces for you or your child – but do braces actually hurt? And how long might they feel uncomfortable for? 

A lot of people find a trip to the dentist stressful, but it doesn’t have to be. The good news is that actually getting braces fitted doesn’t cause pain. You may feel slight pressure as bands are attached to your molars, and some people don’t like the taste of the special glue that’s used to mount brackets on each tooth, but it’s really no big deal. 

After this, the brackets are connected with a wire and special sliding clips. The ones we use make it much easier to adjust your brace during your treatment, and they’re slightly gentler and use less force than elastic bands used elsewhere. 

Ways to help

Once your brace has been fitted and you’re back home, you’ll probably find that your teeth start to ache after a few hours. This is completely normal, and nothing to worry about – it shows that your brace is beginning to work. You might also find the insides of your cheeks feel sore, and your gums may be a bit tender. This pain is likely to last from a few days to up to a week, but there are a few things you can do to help: 

  • Over-the-counter painkillers
  • Try a pain relief gel around your gums 
  • Cold drinks and smoothies to soothe inflamed gums
  • Gargling with salt water can help ease a sore mouth

When you’re new to braces, it makes sense to eat soft food to start with, as biting can make the pain worse. Soups, mashed potato, yoghurt and soft fruit such as bananas are all good choices. 

Moving on 

Once your teeth get used to the brace, it shouldn’t feel uncomfortable and, after a few months, you’ll barely know you’ve got it. The only time you might feel discomfort is when we adjust your brace – this will happen every few weeks, depending on your progress. Again, painkillers can help with this. 

The key thing to remember is that you’re going to end up with a great smile – and teeth to be proud of! Talk to us if you have any worries – we’ve been through it many, many times, and we’re always on hand to reassure you and answer any questions you’ve got. 

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