For many kids and teens, orthodontic care is an essential investment in long-term oral care. By the time orthodontic treatment is completed, patients can expect a confident and healthy smile with straight and properly aligned teeth.

In the short term, it is normal to experience a little bit of discomfort. This discomfort may feel especially acute in the days following an orthodontic appointment. Thankfully, the pain caused by braces does not last forever, and there may be ways to mediate the more unpleasant symptoms.

Why Do Braces Hurt?

There are a number of reasons why braces might cause discomfort:

  • Adjustments from your orthodontist. When braces are initially placed or adjusted, they exert pressure on the teeth and surrounding gums. This is how they gradually move the teeth into the desired position, but it can cause some temporary soreness and discomfort.
  • Friction. Braces are made with brackets, wires, and other components that can rub against the inside of the cheeks, lips, and tongue. This may cause sores or mild irritation.
  • Misalignment. If the braces are not properly adjusted or if there are issues with the alignment, they may cause discomfort.

How Long Does the Pain from Braces Last?

Generally speaking, patients who have braces can expect some pain for a few days after each tightening/adjustment appointment and, in some cases, a couple of weeks. The duration can vary depending on a handful of factors:

  • Individual sensitivity. Some people simply have a higher pain tolerance than others, so they may not recognize as much discomfort from their braces.
  • Treatment stage. Typically, discomfort is most intense immediately after braces are first put on or after adjustments are made. As your mouth becomes accustomed to the pressure, the discomfort should subside.
  • Type of adjustment. Certain adjustments, such as tightening wires, may contribute to higher levels of discomfort.

How To Minimize Pain from Braces

There are usually some steps that can mediate the discomfort caused by braces. Examples include:

  • Talk to the orthodontist. It is always important to communicate with the orthodontist about any soreness or pain, as there may be some adjustments that can reduce the pain a little bit.
  • Use orthodontic wax. Wax can help to cover sharp edges that cause discomfort or irritation inside the mouth.
  • Take pain relievers. Over-the-counter pain relievers, like ibuprofen, are usually very effective at mitigating soreness caused by braces.

Schedule a Braces Consultation Today

While braces can cause some short-term complications, they ultimately lead to healthier, more confident smiles over time. If you have any questions about orthodontic care, we invite you to contact Children’s Dental FunZone today.