Do braces hurt when you first get them on?

This is a question that most of us wonder about when we are close to placing your brackets on. We all wonder about how much pain we’ll experience. The more knowledge you have, the more prepared you can be for when getting your teeth aligned. This page will answer all the questions related to “Do braces hurt?” We will look at what you will be feeling the day of, and many weeks after getting your orthodontics system put in place.

Fitting Day

  • On your fitting day can be one of the most exciting or daunting days. So many things will be going through your head. You will wonder about the  discomfort you will feel or how you will look. On your fitting days you’ll be putting your brackets/invisalign on. These brackets (whether metal or ceramic) will be in place for approximately 2 – 3 years. It takes 1-2hrs for your orthodontist to put the brackets and wires on.
  • You will feel no pain at all when your orthodontist is placing the brackets on for the first time. The process itself is very quick and will not cause any discomfort.
  • The so-called “pain” will begin the day after you get your braces. After the entire system is placed onto your teeth, you will begin to feel discomfort several hours later. You will feel your teeth becoming more sensitive to pressure and any other stimulus. This sensitivity that you begin feeling is the “pain” from your newly attached braces. The teeth become more sensitive and sore because of the pressure caused by the new stress applied. This pressure will cause your teeth to move as time goes on. Expect this soreness and sensitivity to continue for the next few days after your first fitting day.
  • The Process: When at your orthodontist’s clinic, your orthodontist will glue the metal brackets onto your teeth. Afterwards, your orthodontist will place elastics between the bracket (Also known as power chains). Then your orthodontist will then place the archwire. This wire runs across all your front teeth and through the brackets. The archwire ensures that the elastics remain in place. The archwire also works to move and align your teeth. The pain levels you feel when you get them placed on will strongly depend on how well you can tolerate pain.

The Days After

  • The days after you get them put on for this first time will be uncomfortable. The pain and soreness will increase with time. You should expect and prepare for this soreness and slight pain. The soreness you feel is the pressure causing your teeth to begin the realignment process. The stress is beginning to force your teeth to move. This irritates your teeth’s roots and nerves. This is the cause of the pain. The elastics and wire are also constantly applying a pressure on your teeth to begin moving to different positions.
  • The pain you feel can be soothed and relieved with the use of some things your orthodontist gives you. You can use wax. The wax helps prevent mouth sores and friction between the brackets and your cheeks. Unfortunately this will not eliminate all the pain, but it will reduce it.

One Week Later

  • A week after getting them, the pain will begin to subside. All the pain, soreness, and sensitivity that you are experiencing be gone. By then, your teeth would have become accustomed to the pressure caused by the brackets. At this stage, your teeth will feel like they did before getting braces.
  • Even though the pain subsided, it is best to not apply stress and pressure onto your teeth. Deep down, the teeth’s roots are still irritated. This means that you can still feel soreness if you apply enough pressure.

Months Later

With time, you are going to be visiting your orthodontist’s office for some quick elastic and wire adjustments. Your orthodontist will use the appointments to ensure that everything is progressing as expected. Some times, your orthodontist will replace the elastics with tighter ones. The day after your appointment, your teeth might become sore again. The soreness should disappear within 24 hours and won’t last as long as the first time you got braces. This is normal and should be expected because a new level of pressure is being applied onto your teeth again.

Relieving Pain

There are some tips and tricks you can do to relieve the pain. So much so that we have written a specific article about how to relieve the pain.

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