Does Getting Braces Hurt? Not Really…

Here’s What You Can Expect Before, During and After Placing Braces


It’s normal to have concerns about the process of getting braces for yourself or your child. One common question that patients tend to ask their orthodontist frequently is, “Does getting braces hurt”?  Well, let’s talk about what you can expect to experience before, during and after placing orthodontic braces.

Before the Braces

During the initial consultation, the orthodontist will examine the patient’s mouth and face to determine whether he/she will benefit from orthodontic treatment with braces. In some patients, issues such as misalignment or crowding of the teeth can cause discomfort, especially with chewing or biting. It’s important to address orthodontic issues as such, not only to achieve a more aesthetically-pleasing smile – but to prevent any further pain or damage the condition could potentially cause.

A Friendly Procedure

Many patients find that the placement process itself is quite comfortable.During a typical brackets placement, we go through two main phases:

  1. A cheek retractor is used to keep the teeth dry and visible. The teeth are then polished and conditioned to ensure that the brackets successfully bond. A special adhesive material is applied to the teeth to further strengthen the bonding process.
  2. The brackets are cemented onto the teeth and hardened with an LED light beam.The wires are then placed in the brackets and fastened with ligatures – which may be rubber O-rings, or tiny, fine wires.

It’s normal to experience a little pressure in the final phase. All patients will experience pain differently, with some experiencing hardly any at all. Soreness is usually felt in the several hours following placement. This should generally last no longer than two days, and can effectively be reduced with the help of over-the-counter painkillers like Tylenol or Advil.

 Your Braces Are Finally Placed! Now What?

Beyond the surface, your braces are working by generating a force that is slowly shifting the teeth into the desired position.A process referred to as “bone remodeling”, the body begins to adjust to this shifting by dissolving bone in the areas where force is being exerted, and then regenerating bone in the areas the teeth have been moved to. It’s like magic!

Fortunately, discomfort significantly decreases after the first 3 days or so as the mouth adjusts. This bearable, virtually negligible pain is a small price to pay on your journey to a straighter smile.

Minimal Discomfort for a Beautiful, Functional Smile

Orthodontic treatment with braces may feel like a slow process for some, but at the end of the rainbow… most patients agree that their treatment was well worth the wait, and can’t stop smiling about it (literally!). Any discomfort that you may experience with your treatment only indicates that your braces are working.You’ll manage… especially considering the payoff of a stunning, straighter smile.

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