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How Long Do Braces Hurt?

Published on December 22nd, 2020

Mild pain or discomfort is a normal side effect of wearing braces. But you should only feel the discomfort immediately after your orthodontist places or adjusts your braces or wires. The discomfort typically disappears within four days, and braces pain rarely lasts longer than a week.

When you first get braces, it’s also common to feel some pain in your cheeks for about a week. Thankfully, adjustments shouldn’t exacerbate this kind of discomfort.

Why do Braces Hurt?

To realign your smile, braces put stress on your teeth. This pressure often makes your teeth and gums sensitive. For a short period after their initial placement, you might also feel some pain in your cheeks. Modern braces are designed to ease the pain as much as possible, but they still rub against your cheeks, causing soreness or even small cuts.

Why do Rubber Bands on Braces Hurt So Much?

Orthodontists often add rubber bands to braces to apply additional pressure to your teeth. Just like with the wires connecting your braces, this pressure leads can be painful. Like with any change, it’s only painful in the very beginning. After a few days, your body gets used to the extra pressure and the pain melts away.

How to Make Braces Stop Hurting

If your braces are bugging you, there are a number of simple tricks to ease the pain.

  • Be gentle with your teeth. Soft foods like mashed potatoes, noodles, and soup let you get the nourishment you need without putting any additional pressure on your teeth. Even better, treat yourself to a bowl of ice cream! Although some people are extra sensitive to temperature as well as pressure, the cold can help reduce inflammation.
  • Ice packs offer the same kinds of benefits of ice cream without forcing your teeth to bear the cold directly. Plus, they’ll reduce inflammation without the extra calories, if you care about that kind of thing.
  • Over the counter pain medications like Advil can provide lasting relief for all kinds of braces pain. Oral anesthetics like Orajel are another option. Simply apply the aesthetic to your teeth and gums with your finger or a cotton swab.
  • If your braces irritate your cheeks, orthodontic wax might be the solution you need. The soft barrier between your braces and the rest of your mouth is a great way to prevent cuts or irritation. Just be sure to remove the wax to eat or brush your teeth, then reapply when you’ve finished. And while you shouldn’t try to swallow the wax, it is non-toxic.

Having braces can be a pain, both literally and figuratively. However, most people only notice mild discomfort for a few days after adjustments. Going easy on your teeth with soft foods like mashed potatoes and ice cream goes a long way to counter the pain. And medications like Advil and Orajel are there to help if you need them.

If you have any other questions or need an Orthodontist in Oakbrook, IL, give us a call today! We’ll be happy to put your mind at ease and work hard to give you the smile you’ve always wanted.

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