Some people experience mild symptoms from wearing braces. These include soreness or discomfort, which is usually manageable. Symptoms are often the worst during the first week or so after the braces are initially applied. As treatment progresses, symptoms usually subside to the point where you won’t even think about your braces.
Pressure on Teeth
It is not the application of braces that causes pain. It is the pressure that they put on your teeth in order to gradually move them into a new position. When your braces are new, it will take your mouth a while to become accustomed to the new sensation of increased pressure. This is the period when you are likely to feel the most discomfort. However, you can alleviate the symptoms by eating soft foods requiring minimal amounts of chewing, such as mashed potatoes or soup. Cold foods like ice cream can also help to numb the pain. Some orthodontists recommend over-the-counter pain relievers like acetaminophen (Tylenol) or ibuprofen (Advil).
As your teeth move into better alignment over time, the pressure on your teeth will lessen. You will need to see your orthodontist on a regular basis for tightening and adjustments. You may experience some renewed discomfort after these visits, but it probably won’t reach the level after your initial application.
Irritation of Soft Tissue
The introduction of foreign objects into your mouth can cause irritation of the cheeks, tongue, and lips. Sharp metal edges can cause cuts on these soft tissues when they come in contact. Over time, the tissue will become used to the braces and the irritation will calm down. Meanwhile, you can apply wax over the areas of the braces where you have irritation or soreness. This creates a smooth surface and cuts down on friction. It also protects your mouth from sharp metal components.
Placement and Removal
The process to apply braces to your teeth is not painful. It takes about an hour or two and involves the use of special glue to stick the components to your teeth. Once it is time to remove your braces, the orthodontist uses a special tool to make them pop right off. It may make a disturbing cracking sound, but it is not painful.
The technology behind orthodontics has advanced over the last couple of decades, and today’s patients are likely to experience less discomfort than patients did 20 or 30 years ago. A skilled orthodontist, like an orthodontist in San Clemente, CA, can answer all your questions regarding treatment. Contact someone today to set up a consultation.
Thanks to John Redmond Orthodontics for their insight into how it feels to get braces.