Are Braces Painful? | Houston Galleria Orthodontist Are Braces Painful? | Houston Galleria Orthodontist

Do Braces Hurt?

Orthodontics: Are braces painful?

This is a question we often receive from worried patients who believe dental braces cause pain and discomfort. The fact of the matter is that getting braces doesn’t hurt and the procedure to apply them to the teeth is relatively quick and painless. At worst, a patient may experience mild soreness in the first few days to a week after the procedure, as orthodontic wires apply pressure on the brackets in order to straighten teeth.

The two most common types of fixed dental braces are metal braces and ceramic braces. Metal braces consist of stainless steel brackets and metal alloy wires, while ceramic braces have tooth-colored or clear brackets. Regardless of their composition, both orthodontic treatments involve the use of brackets affixed to individual teeth and an archwire that ensures that the teeth are properly aligned. Braces are designed to correct many different types of malocclusions (or “bad bites”) such as crossbite, crowding, open bite, overbite, overjet, and underbite.

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How do you adjust to wearing braces?

As mentioned earlier, dental braces aren’t painful. But with that said, there is a period of adjustment once they are installed. Here is a brief run-down of what to expect during the procedure:

  1. The orthodontist puts band around your back molars, causing slight pressure or pinching.
  2. Dental glue is applied to the teeth so that brackets can be glued to them.
  3. Once the brackets have been applied, they are connected with wires.
  4. The entire system is secured with elastic bands.

In the first few hours, patients may experience some pain and soreness in the teeth and gums, but this typically goes away after a week or so. There is also the pressure placed by the archwire and orthodontic elastic bands as they work to properly realign teeth. The orthodontist may prescribe medication to treat pain, but over-the-counter aspirin and orthodontic relief wax should help manage any lingering aches. After a period of a month or so, wearing braces will feel so normal that the patient may even forget that they’re there at all!

When can you eat after getting braces?

Although wearing braces can be an adjustment, patients can expect to resume their regular eating habits after about a week or so. The only major difference is that people with braces may want to avoid hard, difficult to chew foods in favor of more easily digestible foods, particularly in the first few days after the procedure.

Once the patient has become acclimated to his or her braces, eating full and complete meals becomes significantly easier. With that said, certain foods will always prove more difficult for people with braces. Which foods are those? Keep reading to find out more!

What shouldn’t you eat while wearing braces?

Here’s a short list of foods we recommend staying away from while wearing braces, particularly in the initial week after the procedure:

  • Crushed or cubed ice
  • Hard breads (e.g., bagels, pretzels)
  • Hard candies (e.g., lollipops, jawbreakers)
  • Crunchy foods (e.g., nachos, hard-shell tacos)
  • Chewy candies (e.g., caramel, gum)
  • Beef jerky or bone-in meat
  • Nuts of all kinds
  • Popcorn
  • Raw vegetables and fresh fruits

For more information about fixed dental braces, contact Galleria Dental today!