If you wear braces it is completely normal to experience soreness or discomfort when you first have them fitted, or when you have the brackets and wires tightened. Most pain or discomfort is caused by the pressure needed to create sufficient tooth movement for the braces to do their work.

The wires, brackets, and rubber bands in braces do not hurt, but the fitting, tightening and removal can irritate tissues in the mouth. Common types of braces pain include:

  • When you get them put on: The initial process will take a couple of hours and you will feel some tightening on the teeth as the wires are fixed in place. The process of fitting the brackets is painless, but it can be uncomfortable having your mouth open for so long.
  • When you get them tightened: Every 2 months, or thereabouts, you will come back for a follow-up appointment and your orthodontist will adjust and tighten the braces; this can often feel like a firm, pressure-like or stretching feeling more than actual pain.
  • When you get them taken off: After your treatment is complete and you come for the final appointment where your braces are removed, you might feel a bit strange having gotten used to wearing braces for so long. This is an odd feeling but it is not painful. 

You might also feel braces pain as a result of the wires and brackets rubbing against the cheeks and lips. While it is normal to experience some discomfort with braces and other orthodontic treatments, if they hurt really badly then you should make another orthodontic appointment.

As leading providers of a wide range of dental and orthodontic treatments, including lots of teeth straightening techniques, we are a good source of information and can offer some tips on what to do if your braces hurt. Contact us to book an appointment in Brighton and Hove.

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Located in the heart of Hove, we pride ourselves on our excellent level of service and our unparalleled attention to detail and exemplary staff who will ensure you get the very best dental care available. Our dental services are second to none and will leave you with a smile on your face.

What to Do If My Braces Hurt: Expert Tips & Dentist Tricks

The braces do not hurt themselves – it is usually simple inflammation and irritation of the mouth that causes the soreness. If this happens you can try some of the home remedies we’ve listed below:

  • Orthodontic wax: During your treatment, your orthodontist will apply orthodontic wax to create a barrier between the wires and your mouth, and you may also do this at home. You can simply rub it on any sore areas, almost like a lip balm but for the teeth.
  • Over-the-counter pain medications: Simple over-the-counter pain relievers such as paracetamol and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, most notably ibuprofen, can soothe any lingering pain quite well. You can stop taking them as the pain subsides.
  • Salt-water rinses: A level teaspoon of salt dissolved in water can relieve all sorts of dental pain. Gargle the salt-water solution as you would a normal mouthwash and rinse, which will calm your lips, tongue, and the inside of your cheeks as they adjust.
  • Eat soft foods: Your gums will calm down with soft foods such as ice cream or mac and cheese. Try to avoid pointy foods like tortilla chips, crusty bread, nuts, and cereals as these can irritate the mouth further and exacerbate any existing discomfort.

It is normal to experience some slight pain and discomfort after fitting and tightening or when you have them removed, so the best remedy is waiting for the discomfort to go away naturally.

How Long Do Braces Hurt?

After fitting the braces, any small sores or pain should dissipate within a few days to a week. The braces themselves do not hurt while fitting, so the soreness is actually from the irritation of having someone poking around in your mouth for a couple of hours. This is completely normal. 

Most people wonder when braces stop hurting but might not think about the strange feeling of having them in your mouth, which can take a while to get used to. After about 3 weeks from the first fitting, the strange feeling of having the braces in your mouth should subside too.

Do Bottom Braces Hurt More?

Many people will find that their bottom braces hurt more, because this is where the tongue is likely to poke or prod your braces and feel uncomfortable. Moving the jaw while talking and chewing is another way that bottom braces might cause a bit more discomfort.

How Much Do Braces Hurt on a Scale of 1-10?

Your braces will not hurt at all when you get them put on, taken off, tightened or anything else, so it is a 1 or a 0 for how painful braces are. For most people, it is just a strange feeling, especially when you get them taken off – almost like the feeling you get when you take a hat off and it feels like it is still on your head. Many people cannot help but run their tongue over their newly-smooth teeth.

Train Track Braces

Do Braces Hurt & What to Expect

Normally, there will be differing levels of discomfort and soreness from braces and other dental treatments, but braces do not hurt when you get them put on, taken off, tightened or during your normal hygiene regime. Home remedies can reduce any inflammation, pain, or soreness.

We offer teeth straightening treatments, including clear or invisible braces, in the Brighton and Hove area, so we understand you might worry about whether braces hurt and will be happy to help you through the process if you are a nervous patient.

Contact us for an appointment or use the form below.


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