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Are Braces Painful?

You’re ready to get your teeth straightened, and are about to begin your journey to a beautiful smile. However, you have one lingering thought in your head… how much pain am I going to have to go through……

This is a thought that goes through the minds of teenagers and adults before getting braces put on. And our experience has been that there are lot of misconceptions out there, and many people have been told “stories” by their friends or colleagues about painful experiences.

So, let’s start at the beginning:

The Beginning of treatment

  1. Getting braces put on your teeth – This process involves cleaning your teeth with a brush and paste, using a liquid or gel to prepare your teeth, and then sticking the braces on with a type of “glue”. No injections, No drilling! As you may have guessed… this process it absolutely PAINLESS!
  2. Placing the wire – once the braces are “glued” on, a wire will be placed to start straightening the teeth. This wire will start to apply mild pressure on the teeth and straighten them. You will start to feel this pressure, but it should NOT be painful. If it is, please inform your orthodontist.
  3. After you leave the clinic – Once this process is completed, you would get back home, and continue to feel the pressure on your teeth, and maybe mild to moderate pain – which can easily be taken care of with over the counter (OTC) painkillers.  The first day or two can be a little uncomfortable, and hence we advise that you follow certain basic precautions. These will be discussed in more details in subsequent blogs, but here is a short list
    1. Eat soft food
    1. Use Orthodontic wax if needed
    1. Use simple OTC pain-killers if needed (Paracetamol or Ibuprofen work well)
  4. Discomfort of the appliance – having something new, like braces, in your mouth will feel odd for a few days – up-to a week. Its similar to the discomfort you may feel if you start wearing a new shoe. In time though, this dies down, and you’ll start to get comfortable with your braces. You may get some sores or blisters on your cheeks or tongue, but these usually heal quickly, especially if you use the orthodontic wax.

Subsequent appointments during the treatment

Once the braces are put on, you would have to revisit your orthodontist after 4-8 weeks. During this time, the braces would be adjusted to continue tooth movement. This would once again put pressure on your teeth, but the amount of discomfort or pain would be much less than after the braces were first put on.

Once again, soft food and use of OTC painkillers can help.

Removal of your Braces

Now that we’ve reached the end, let’s talk about getting the braces out. At this stage you would be excited about your new smile, and would be waiting to get rid of your braces.

The removal process involves gently snapping your braces off your teeth. This is usually an uncomfortable procedure, but not painful. Also, it doesn’t take more than 2-3 minutes to complete.

Once your braces are off, you will be called into the clinic for fitting a retainer. Retainers don’t apply any pressure on your teeth, so again, there’s no pain involved.

Overall, having braces should not be a painful experience. After the initial few days of discomfort, for the most part, the process should progress smoothly. And of course, the beautiful smile at the end, will be totally worth it!!!

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