Do Braces Hurt?

With modern orthodontic treatments from Feil Orthodontics, getting a straighter smile is more convenient than ever. Dr. Blake Feil transforms smiles daily and can help you reach your aesthetic and oral health goals. Many people who visit our offices in Bismarck, Mandan, and Beulah worry that braces will hurt, but thankfully, they’re more comfortable than ever! However, you may experience some discomfort when you first get your braces, so we’re explaining what you can expect and how to get through the early days of treatment. 

What are braces? How do they work?

The first step of braces treatment is understanding what they are and how they work. Braces are fixed orthodontic appliances that apply gentle pressure to your teeth to shift them into alignment. Dr. Feil attaches your brackets with a special adhesive and uses a wire to connect them. He’ll create a personalized treatment plan to map out each bend in the wire to guide your teeth into the best positions. 

The pressure from braces can be uncomfortable initially, but it’s the key factor in getting a straighter smile. The length of time you need to wear braces depends on the severity of your case, but most people at Feil Orthodontics wear them for one to two years. Dr. Feil will adjust your braces regularly to ensure your teeth move as planned. With proper care and follow-up appointments, you can have a healthy, beautiful smile that will last a lifetime.

What to expect from braces

You may experience a few types of pain when you get braces but don’t worry, none of them will last long, and they’re easy to manage at home. 

The most common type of pain is discomfort or soreness in your teeth and gums as they adjust to the pressure from your brackets. You can manage this soreness by taking over-the-counter pain relievers, like ibuprofen or acetaminophen. 

You may also experience soreness in your cheeks and lips from the brackets and wires rubbing against them. We recommend placing orthodontic wax over any brackets or wires that are particularly bothersome. 

Dr. Feil will periodically adjust your braces during treatment to keep your teeth moving in the right direction. You’ll likely have some soreness after these appointments, but it usually subsides within a few days. 

If you play sports or engage in other physical activities, wear a mouthguard to protect your teeth and braces. If you experience severe pain or discomfort after a hit to the mouth, contact our office immediately to determine the cause and the best course of action.

Tips for managing braces pain

Eat soft foods after getting your braces and adjustment appointments. This will put less pressure on your teeth and avoid accidentally knocking the brackets or wires loose. 

Use a soft-bristled toothbrush for a more gentle brushing experience. This will be less abrasive against your brackets while keeping your smile clean and healthy. 

Keep an orthodontic care kit when you’re out and about. Throw a small toothbrush, toothpaste, floss, ibuprofen, orthodontic wax, and anything else you may need if something arises when you’re not home. 

Keeping your teeth clean with braces

Once you get your braces, you must adjust how you brush your teeth. We recommend brushing a minimum of two times daily for at least two minutes to keep food particles and plaque from building up in the braces and teeth. To correctly brush and floss with braces, stick to the following guidelines.

  • Hold the toothbrush parallel to the floor against the side of the teeth, and move the toothbrush in small circular motions, following the regular curve of the gums and teeth as you go from tooth to tooth.
  • Brush each tooth for several seconds to remove all food particles along the gum line, between the braces, and on the surface of each tooth.
  • Remember to brush the tops and insides of your teeth, the back of your mouth, and behind the molars. Brush upward on the lower teeth and downward on the upper teeth, and brush the roof of your mouth and tongue before rinsing.
  • To properly clean the brackets, angle the brush head against them and brush thoroughly under the wires!
  • Slide a piece of floss about 18 inches long under the wire above the space between the two teeth. Insert the floss halfway through, and then hold both ends of the floss. Carefully slide the floss up and down a few times between the teeth.
  • Floss the gum line with the floss in the shape of a “C” and below the gum line with a soft up and down motion. Be careful not to apply too much pressure when flossing around the archwire.
  • Gently remove the floss, thread it under the next wire, and repeat the steps above.

Do Braces Hurt?

Get a straighter smile with braces from Feil Orthodontics

Getting braces to straighten your smile is a big step, so knowing everything that comes with that process is important. While you’ll have some minor discomfort at certain times throughout treatment, it’s always manageable, and we’re always here to help. 

If you have any concerns about pain during orthodontic treatment, we would love to help ease your mind! Contact Feil Orthodontics in Bismarck, Mandan, or Beulah to schedule a free consultation with Dr. Blake Feil and take the first step to your smile.