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Why Braces Hurt

Posted on October 25, 2018 with 0 comments

  • The initial placement of braces typically does not hurt:
    • The braces are put on a specific position on your teeth with a special adhesive that is hardened by a special light wand.
    • Although the outer layer of the adhesive near the bracket hardens immediately, the inner layer will take about 24 hours to fully harden.
    • After the initial placement, the orthodontist will review some simple precautions and practices to minimize the temporary discomfort most patients feel before they get use to their braces.
  • After the initial placement, braces hurt because the brackets and wires are new to your mouth and may irritate the inside of your cheeks and lips. In addition there may be some discomfort later, because your teeth are being moved by the wires to their final and correct position.
  • Ways to alleviate soreness and discomfort:
    • Use the wax you received at the time of the initial placement until you get use to the braces, following the orthodontist’s wax usage instructions to prevent irritation to your cheeks and lips.
    • Rinse with warm salt water, a great natural remedy to relieve soreness.
    • Watch what you eat during the first few days after the initial placement. Some of the “soft” foods recommended to minimize discomfort at this time are: yogurt; soups; mashed potatoes; steamed vegetables; and “soft” fruits such as bananas and berries.
    • During the first days, consider taking a mild over the counter pain reliever if you feel this is necessary to alleviate the discomfort. If you decide to do this, be sure to read all directions on the product package before taking, especially paying close attention to the maximum dosage (e.g. amount according to age and weight). If you have any doubts, talk to your pharmacists on selecting an appropriate pain reliever.
  • Be assured that the level of pain/soreness felt after the initial placement of the wire usually dissipates by the end of the first week of treatment. You may still feel some occasional discomfort as your teeth alignment progresses, but this is generally for a short time after any brace adjustment/alignment visit. As your teeth get straighten, you will not feel any discomfort.

Dr. Maria O'Reilly

Dr. Maria O'Reilly

Orthodontist Doctor

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