One of the most common questions we get asked at Roanoke Valley Orthodontics is whether braces will hurt when they are applied. [We have a list of some other frequently asked questions here.]
The simple answer is no. When the braces go on, there’s absolutely no pain. Each case is different, but most of the time, we’ll clean, dry and prepare your teeth then use an adhesive to attach the brackets to the teeth. Once the brackets are secure, we’ll place the wires in the brackets and hold them in place with rubber bands. You might feel some pressure once everything is in place, but the procedure is painless.
Once you get home, you could begin to experience some soreness that evening and the following day as the teeth begin to respond to the pressure of the braces and start to move. Soreness generally lasts a couple of days and sometimes as long as a week, depending on the individual patient. By the way, our Invisalign patients might also experience a little soreness when they begin wearing the aligners, but it generally doesn’t last long.
Use over-the-counter analgesics such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen on a regular basis to lessen the soreness and keep it at bay. You can also try rinsing your mouth with warm salt water or by chewing sugarless gum sweetened with xylitol. Both can help soothe gums and lessen swelling.
Pay attention to the softer tissues in your mouth, as well. Irritated areas on the tongue or on the inside of the lips or cheeks could indicate a bracket rubbing against the tissue. Apply a little dental wax to the bracket to create a smoother surface. (If you run out of wax, just ask us for some!) An oral anesthetic such as Orabase or Orajel applied directly to the affected area will lessen any pain.
Eating soft foods during the first few days after getting your braces can help, too. Mashed potatoes, pasta, scrambled eggs, applesauce and Jell-O are good bets (see more suggestions). After a few days, your teeth will have grown more accustomed to the braces, and eating will be much easier.
We’ll go over all of this with you and make sure you have the supplies you need when you first get your braces. But if you ever have any questions during treatment, don’t hesitate to get in touch at 540-563-1640 or firstname.lastname@example.org. If we can’t take care of your problem over the phone, we’ll schedule you promptly to see a member of our team.
— The Roanoke Valley Orthodontics team