Do Braces Hurt?

Do Braces Hurt?
Posted on 08/30/2018
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Do Braces Hurt?

Here at Kattner Orthodontics, one of the most common hang ups that we hear from patients before they make the choice to get started with braces is, “do they hurt?”. Knowing that treatment with braces can last anywhere between one and three years, imagining that you could be in pain that entire time is enough to make anyone hesitant. However, that image is very far from reality. Our patients tell us that while there is some minor discomfort at the beginning of treatment, and occasionally after that, those few days are very manageable. To learn more about what you can expect when you get braces, and what you can do to alleviate discomfort for a positive orthodontic experience, check out the information below.

How Braces Move Your Teeth

Before starting with braces your teeth are firmly set into your jaw bone in their current positions. Braces have the task of moving your teeth into new positions which requires pushing (or pulling) them through the tissue and bone of your jaw until they are aligned. The secret to making that a pain-free experience is the use of very light forces. We select the lightest wires possible in order to make that happen.

What actually causes the discomfort, if you do experience any discomfort at all, is the small amount of pressure that the braces put on your teeth to get them started moving (once they start moving you won’t feel a thing). This pressure is created by the bend made in the archwire when it’s being connected to the brackets on each of your teeth. The wire we use always wants to return to its original shape and that introduces the light force we talked about above. Once the teeth get going it’s a painless downhill ride after that.

How To Relieve Any Discomfort

While the discomfort from braces is minor enough that most patients can get through it without a problem, there are ways that the feeling can be reduced to make the experience with braces even more comfortable. The most obvious solution is to take over-the-counter pain relievers like acetaminophen or ibuprofen. Patients just starting treatment might even need to take a pain reliever for a few days. Future appointments to ‘tighten’ the braces are less painful and might not need any medication at all. Some patients have told us that sipping a cold drink can help as well.

Is Invisalign Treatment More Comfortable Than Braces?

Not according to our patients! Teeth can’t tell the difference between the pressure being delivered by braces versus the pressure being delivered by aligners. However, it is true that aligners are much smoother than braces so there is less of a transition period as far as the lips and cheeks are concerned. At the end of the day, the choice to get braces versus Invisalign should not be made on the basis of whether one will hurt more or less than the other.

Contact Us With Your Braces Questions!

If you have any questions about orthodontic treatment with braces, or you’re looking to schedule your first appointment to get started with braces for yourself or a family member, just contact us at Kattner Orthodontics! For years, we’ve been providing specialized orthodontic care for patients of all ages in Waukegan, IL and the surrounding communities. From modern metal braces to Invisalign, we utilize state-of-the-art orthodontic technology to provide our patients with their perfect, radiant smile. Dr. Kattner and our experienced orthodontic team look forward to meeting you, working to craft your personalized treatment plan, and helping you transform your smile.