If you’re planning on getting your pearly whites a set of braces either for correction or simply for show, then you came to the right place! We here at Beautisdom have made it our very own mission to provide you with a detailed look on what to expect should you decide to get your braces on! So, to start with, you’re probably wondering what the important points to look for before undergoing the procedure, and we got you covered.
You see, the most common questions when it comes to patients about to go through the whole procedure (or whether if you’re just curious about it) are these:
- Will braces really hurt a lot once I have them on?
- Will the pain from braces last long? Will it even ever go away?
- How can I ease the pain that comes from my braces?
- Do braces really cost a whole lot of money?
Of course, we won’t blame you for asking these things, no matter how common they have become. After all, we can’t call the whole procedure of placing metal attachments to your teeth as something usual, and it is only right that you get the best care possible with the budget that you want to work with.
Now, we’re going to come at it right off the gate: a lot of dental procedures do involve a degree of pain, and the application of braces fall right in that category. But, you should know that with advancements in dental care and technology today, it’s becoming less and less of an issue. So, don’t be scared of your “big bad dentist”; they’re here to help you!
With that, let’s proceed to giving you a clearer idea on each of the questions that might be brewing in your mind when it comes to this topic. Let’s start with whether the procedure initially hurts.
So, Do Braces Really Cause A Lot Of Pain At First?
You might be surprised to find out that, no, braces don’t cause much pain during the whole application procedure. What you must know, on the other hand, is that they almost certainly cause a degree of soreness a few hours after putting them on, as your teeth adjust to the new positioning your orthodontist had just made.
Now, this pain is bearable and lasts just about a week or so, and it’s something that can’t hinder you too much. Suffice it to say that instead of a noticeable, undesirable sensation, braces in fact just leave this annoying feeling because of how your teeth are still getting used to the attachments.
Now, if you’re wondering about the procedure’s duration, then you should know that it lasts anywhere from about one to a couple of hours.
What Makes Braces Uncomfortable
So, let’s say that it’s the big day and you’re about to get your braces. Here’s what to expect during the procedure:
- First, your dental care expert will have to put on brackets right on your teeth, and this is done by sticking those brackets using some dental cement.
- For the cement to harden, they will then use a light wand to speed up the curing process.
- Then, the archwire will be placed. If you’re wondering what the archwire is, it’s the metal thread that goes in between each and every bracket on your teeth.
- Once all the brackets have been inserted with an archwire, your dentist will then cut it
- Finally, the archwires are held safely in place with elastic ligatures (this is also the part of the braces that gives you the option of color, so you can style it the way you want)
Like we said earlier, there’s nothing to worry about during the whole procedure. The worst you could experience is a bit of discomfort. For one, dental cement tastes awful, and there may be instances where it could result to gum sensitivity.
That, however, doesn’t last long and is pretty bearable. On the other hand, it might feel awkward that your dentist is using some rather intimidating metal tools to apply your braces, but it’s something that you should know helps you; they’re not there to cause you pain or anything.
Finally, and perhaps the worst of it, is the strain that could come from having to hold your mouth open during the whole procedure, which could last up to a couple of hours. Aside from those, though, you’re all good to go!
Powering through the Early Days of Your Braces
Like we said earlier, it’s not exactly pain that you’re going to be experiencing during the first few days of having braces; it’s more of an annoying sensation caused by the foreign object that you just put on. But, as with a simple piercing or tattoo, your body will eventually get used to it. Now, it is still possible that you can experience very light pain during your first week of braces, but cases like this are too few and far between. On the other hand, here are the things that you are more likely to experience during this time:
- Your teeth and gums feel sore, especially when you’re trying to chew
- This rather bloated feeling on your cheeks caused by the newly attached brackets, elastics, and archwires.
- Your tongue may get sore from having it rub against the braces.
That third point is mostly avoidable, though, since you just have to control yourself not to play with the braces using your tongue. Believe us, avoiding that will work wonders in easing any discomfort you have with your new braces.
Most important of all, though, is to find a way to properly get nutrition during this period. Considering that that chewing becomes an issue in the first week of having your braces, it is ideal that you adapt a diet made mostly of soft foods. Not to worry, though: we’ll get to that soon!
Why Do Braces Hurt When They’re Adjusted?
In truth, getting your braces tightened is the only part of the whole ordeal that could cause pain, and this is because your teeth and gums are being pulled into new positions in order to align them. We won’t lie to you: this will become a repeating sensation, because your dentist will require that realignments be done several times throughout the whole period you have your braces on.
But, despite the intensity of realignment pains, you can take comfort in knowing that this only lasts about a day or two. Afterwards, you can brandish those pearly whites and eat properly again!
But Why Do Braces Even Have To Hurt?
Primarily, the pain that comes from braces is caused by your teeth and gums adjusting to a new position (the realignment). However, there are other sources of pain, too, that you should know.
- Apart from the pains and soreness that comes from both the application process and the repeated readjustments done on your braces, one overlooked factor that tends to worsen this pain is dental hygiene. It may seem simple enough, but caring for your teeth and gums via daily maintenance could be a pain and requires some getting used to.’
- The brackets can cut your cheeks sometimes, especially if they’re made of ceramic material. Additionally, the archwires, if not properly cut, may poke your cheeks as well. Ouch!
- In cases where you also need jaw realignment to remove your overbite or underbite, the elastic bands placed in your mouth could cause some jaw strain during application.
It can be a bit overwhelming to learn about these, but keep in mind that there are ways to ease the pain. Here are some tips:
- Try using pain relief medication you can get over-the-counter, such as ibuprofen or naproxen sodium.
- Opt for metal braces instead of ceramic ones. Sure, the latter looks less obvious, but they tend to be sharper and may cut you.
- Keep up with your dental hygiene.
- Don’t eat anything that can risk your braces breaking.
- If any unwanted occurrences happen to your braces, like dislodged brackets or broken archwires, be sure to check with your dentist right away; don’t wait for your next scheduled appointment.
What to Eat When You Have Braces
Especially during the first week and the period right after having your braces adjusted, it’s important that you eat foods that won’t cause you even more discomfort than you already have and won’t cause any damage to your orthodontic attachments.
Here are a few examples:
- Steamed veggies
- Mashed potatoes
- Smoothies and shakes
Yes, braces may be uncomfortable, but it’s all worth it in the end. Just think of it this way: it’s a small price to pay compared to the benefits of having properly aligned teeth. Take care!