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Will braces hurt?

By Catalogs Editorial Staff

Will braces hurt? Yes, but not forever and the end result is worth it!

Will braces hurt? Yes, but not forever and the end result is worth it!

Will braces hurt? Yes, braces hurt when first put in the mouth and later when adjustments are made throughout the treatment process.

When getting braces, the orthodontist puts spacers in the back teeth to create room for the anchors, which join the braces. The anchors slide over the teeth and create stability and support. The braces are attached to them. When the spacers are placed in the mouth, the patient may experience pain because movement of teeth happens rapidly.

Initially, the inside of the mouth can get torn by the hardware. Lips can be cut and teeth may hurt. This is temporary. It doesn’t last forever. Steel yourself and get through the first week of discomfort. Things will get better. The sores in the mouth heal. Scar tissue forms and it prevents new sores from developing.

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Every time the patient goes to the orthodontist, adjustments are made that can lead to discomfort and soreness. If the pain is intolerable, discuss this with the dentist. He or she may recommend dental care products and tools that will lessen your discomfort. Perhaps he can adjust them in another fashion that doesn’t result in so much pain.


Braces shift teeth so every time a shift occurs the patient may feel discomfort and develop new sores in the mouth.

Sometimes the wires poke the inside of the cheek and this is painful. The orthodontist can clip the wire so it stops hurting the inside of the mouth.

Pain relieving techniques

  • Using a warm salt water rinse soothes the inside of the mouth and sores. The salt has healing properties. Combine a teaspoon of salt in a glass of warm water, stirring until the salt dissolves. Rinse the mouth several times every day with the solution.
  • Cold foods, such as ice cream or an icy cold slushy drink helps dull pain. You can put a cold pack against your cheek, which should reduce pain. Taking over-the-counter pain relievers diminishes pain and soreness.
  • Some orthodontists give their patients bite wafers. When biting down on the wafer, this reduces pain. Biting prompts blood to circulate into the gums, which lessens pain.
  • Purchase a gel specifically made to create a barrier over the sores in the mouth. One type of barrier gel is called Canker-X. These products contain aloe vera, which is soothing.
  • Another option is dental wax, which creates a barrier in between the inside of the mouth and the brace brackets. Warm a chunk of dental wax by rubbing it between the fingers. Put it directly onto the bracket where you are experiencing pain. Remove the wax before brushing teeth. If you have wax on your braces and are out on a sizzling date tell your date about the wax before smooching. He might see it and think, “What in the world?!” Sometimes it hurts to kiss when wearing braces, thus the protective wax.
  • Over-the-counter anesthetics, such as Orajel, deaden pain for a period of time. Use it inside your mouth before going to sleep and you should be pain-free throughout the night.

  • Run hot water over a washcloth. Let it cool for a bit before pressing it against the jaw. This reduces swelling, which sometimes occurs when tightening is done, and the heat lessens pain.
  • Use toothpaste designed for sensitive teeth and use a soft-bristle toothbrush.
In time, the orthodontia patient adapts to the braces and stops experiencing pain. Ultimately,  the patient has a beautiful set of straightened teeth when the hardware comes off. That should make it all worth well.

Remember to brush your teeth religiously while there is hardware in the mouth. Not doing so can lead to cavities.


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