Braces can be an important part of helping you achieve a beautiful, healthy smile. But they can also cause some discomfort during the adjustment period. If you’re expecting to get braces soon or you’ve recently had them put on, here are five tips to help you manage the pain and make the experience as comfortable as possible.
Do Braces Hurt?
Often the fear of pain after wearing braces is the most pressing reason to stop treatment.
Unbearably painful, braces insertion is usually not.
But how bad is the pain?
- Admittedly, the teeth have to be pushed in a certain direction to shift and that already sounds very painful.
- For most wearers, however, the pain is quite contained and usually disappears entirely after a few days or weeks.
According to experience, you will have a strong feeling of pressure on the teeth in the first period after the braces have been fitted.
But the unaccustomed feeling quickly subsides – and is not to be compared with throbbing toothache or serious jaw pain.
If both sets of teeth need a frame, the dentist sometimes also decides not to attach both parts of the braces at once.
This way, you can get used to it slowly and the pain won’t be as bad.
Tip: If the braces hurt after you get used to them, go to the dentist again. He can loosen the braces a little to improve the situation.
Depending on the type of braces, different pains occur:
The fixed braces – what do I have to consider?
Wearing fixed braces is usually more painful than removable versions.
Fixed braces are the most effective – however, they also exert the most pressure.
This is because the braces are worn permanently and exert great, continuous pressure on the teeth.
What are the manifestations of pain?
In addition to the aforementioned feeling of pressure, sometimes there can be real pain.
- The braces can namely irritate and rub the gums, causing them to become inflamed.
- This causes swelling, redness, pain and even bleeding gums.
But even these symptoms subside after the first few weeks at the latest.
The loose braces
Often, wearing loose braces is perceived as more comfortable.
- This is because the braces only need to be worn for a certain amount of time throughout the day
- Furthermore, one always has the option of removing the braces if it should ever become too uncomfortable.
However: A feeling of pressure also exists here – after all, it must straighten crooked teeth.
What other reasons are there for pain?
During the insertion of the braces, the dentist may slightly injure tissues.
- However, the wounds heal within a few days. This may cause additional burning or pulling.
- If the braces do not fit properly, there is also pain and an uncomfortable feeling.
That’s why you should definitely come in for a check-up appointment if the braces hurt permanently (i.e., even after the adjustment period).
Other reasons for pain when wearing braces
The braces in your mouth can also wear down your lips and cheek area.
Another important point: protruding wires will rub up the surrounding region and cause sores. The dentist can trim these if necessary.
If the discomfort has not disappeared after a short adjustment period of a few weeks, please contact your dentist.
What can I do to relieve the pain?
Some things you can do yourself to make wearing braces as comfortable as possible.
Clean and care for teeth properly
Good oral hygiene is key to keeping inflammation at bay before it can spread further
- Wearing braces requires even more accuracy and care than before, especially when it comes to dental hygiene.
- It is best to buy an electric toothbrush with a special brush head for braces wearers.
Take enough time for dental care, about 10 minutes in the morning and evening is recommended.
Another insider tip are (real) ultrasonic toothbrushes, where the brush head does not move. As a result, they don’t get tangled up in braces and dental care is much easier.
You can learn more about how these brushes work here: Ultrasonic toothbrushes in test.
Rinse your mouth with clean water before cleaning to remove food debris. Then brush each tooth carefully and use fluoride toothpaste.
The use of dental floss also helps. Even more convenient, however, are oral irrigators, which clean the spaces between teeth using a jet of water.
Mouthwash should always be used after brushing teeth, but only as a supplement. Mouthwash cannot replace regular dental hygiene.
- Mouthwash is useful especially in case of gum inflammation caused by braces, as it disinfects & soothes.
- This will prevent the inflammation from spreading further and getting worse (periodontal disease is one of the most common causes of tooth loss).
Inflammation also subsides more quickly.
In the pharmacy you can buy wound ointment, which is especially suitable for the mucous membranes. This will help the wounds heal faster.
Everyone preaches it to you: drink plenty of water. But it really is true, because a well-hydrated body heals faster and better.
Not so well known, however, is that a dry mouth promotes dental disease. Our saliva fights bacteria around the clock.
So make sure to consume at least 2 – 3 liters of pure water.
Cool, cool, cool
If swelling and redness helps cool. To do this, simply place an ice pack wrapped in a tea towel on the affected cheek and cool for a few minutes. Repeat several times a day.
Alternatively, you can also simply suck ice cubes. These have the same, cooling effect.
Kamomile tea not only tastes delicious, but also scores points for its calming effect.
Don’t hesitate to seek advice directly from your dentist.
Simply pour 250 ml of hot water over two tea bags and allow to cool. Gargle several times a day.
High-proof alcohol such as vodka and gin disinfects the mouth. Simply gargle several times a day and then spit it out. Smokers should also pay close attention to their dental hygiene and avoid their cigarrettes for the first few days after insertion
You can buy 1% hydrogen peroxide solutions at the pharmacy. Then simply dab this onto the irritated areas using a cotton swab.
Hydrogen peroxide disinfects and has an anti-inflammatory effect.
Salt has a soothing and anti-inflammatory effect.Dissolve 1 tablespoon in 200 ml of lukewarm water and gargle several times a day.
If nothing else works, reach for the tried and true painkillers. Ibuprofen or acetaminophen not only relieve pain, but also have an anti-inflammatory effect.
Note: If in doubt, always go to a (dental) doctor. The can help you far better than any guide on the Internet.
What can I do to prevent discomfort?
There are some things you can do to prevent discomfort from occurring in the first place.
Be careful not to chew hard foods, especially in the first few days. It is recommended to make the food into porridge.
In the article Eating after wisdom tooth surgery you will find some recipes & tips.
Also, avoid high-sugar foods and drinks (go for tooth-friendly xylitol instead).
Beverages with carbonic acid should also be avoided. This is because the carbonic acid can further irritate the mucous membranes.
Do not consume caffeine during the first few days. This slows down wound healing.
In the pharmacy there is special wax, which you can apply to the mucous membranes and brackets of your braces. This makes the braces irritate the oral cavity a lot less.
It sounds silly, but it helps. Try to avoid talking a lot. That’s because when you talk, the mucosa slides past the brackets and becomes irritated.
Don’t chew gum
Chewing gum causes additional mouth movements that irritate the mucous membranes.
Generally, you should avoid heavy stress on the jaw during the first few days.
Hot drinks and foods
Too hot drinks and foods lead to burns and inflammation, which are aggravated again by wearing braces.
Always allow to cool before enjoying your favorite foods and drinks
Schedule regular checkups with your dentist. This is a good way to treat ailments and detect problems early.
More tips for healthy teeth
By practicing thorough and careful oral hygiene, you can do a lot yourself to prevent toothache & unpleasant treatments at the dentist.
Sonic toothbrushes usually clean
- better than brushing by hand and can compensate for faulty technique.
- The use of dental floss or interdental brushes removes stinky bacteria between the teeth. An even more convenient alternative is oral irrigators.
- Complement your dental care with the right toothpaste, antibacterial mouthwashes & home remedies such as coconut oil or birch sugar.
Naturally, there is also more info on the subject:
More braces articles
Comprehensive guide to braces
I hope this article was helpful to you. Please also recommend this page to friends & acquaintances to help as many people as possible
Foods to avoid with braces: A comprehensive list of foods that can cause discomfort or damage to braces, including sticky, chewy, or hard foods
As someone who has had braces, I know firsthand the discomfort that can come with certain foods. That’s why it’s important to be aware of what types of foods to avoid during your time wearing braces. Sticky, chewy, and hard foods are the main culprits that can cause damage to brackets, wires and bands. Not only can these foods cause discomfort, but they can also prolong the time you need to wear braces by breaking brackets or wires.
Sticky foods are a big no-no when it comes to braces. This includes gum, candy, and dried fruits. These types of foods can easily get stuck in brackets or wires, making it difficult to clean and potentially causing damage. Chewy foods, such as bagels, licorice, and chewy candy, can also cause issues as they can pull or dislodge brackets or wires.
Hard foods are another culprit for causing damage to braces. Foods such as hard candy, nuts, and popcorn should be avoided as they can break brackets or wires. Additionally, biting into hard foods can cause pain and discomfort for those with braces.
While it can be tempting to indulge in these foods while wearing braces, it’s important to remember that doing so can cause prolong your time in braces and potentially cause discomfort. Instead, opt for softer foods such as mashed potatoes, cooked vegetables, and soft fruits. By being mindful of what you eat, you can help ensure a smoother and more comfortable experience while wearing braces.