Braces have a tendency to look a bit intimidating. All that metal can potentially make you feel fearful or anxious that you'll be in pain throughout your treatment. The good news is that you shouldn't have to worry about this. Here's what you need to know about discomfort, pain, and braces.
Braces are typically painless. That isn't to say that they're always perfectly comfortable - you'll read about that in a moment - but they don't cause any pain. The brackets on the front of your teeth will be applied with dental cement, so there's no drilling or anything like that. The wires of the braces are simply threaded through the brackets and clipped to them, so there's no pain there, either. In general, most people report no pain while having their braces put on or during the time that they're wearing them.
That being said, there are some times where braces can cause mild discomfort. Thankfully, there are things you can do about it.
One of these instances is when braces rub against the inside of your lip. This doesn't happen all the time, but if you were to, say, accidentally bite the inside of your lip, you might develop a bump there. This bump could theoretically rub against the brackets of your braces and be irritated. The good news is that this discomfort can be easily avoided by applying something called braces wax. This is a small piece of wax that can be gently molded over your braces bracket, providing a soft and slick surface so that any irregularities on the inside of your lip won't rub against the braces. Keep in mind that this is almost never a problem if you don't have any issues with bumps on the inside of your lip, so you won't need to wear the wax constantly.
Another common time of mild discomfort is when you have your braces tightened. Every now and then, you'll go to the orthodontist's office to have your braces tightened. This is to ensure that your teeth keep moving in the correct direction. Some people report mild soreness in the teeth for the day following this procedure, though not all experience this soreness.
There are a few things you can do about this. The first is to take an over-the-counter pain reliever orally before having your braces tightened and for the duration of the day after they've been tightened. This is usually enough to prevent any kind of discomfort from being felt.
Alternatively, you can ask your orthodontist to perform more frequent micro-adjustments. This means your teeth will move less between each adjustment, but you'll come in more often, so they'll still reach their goal in the estimated time. This can dramatically reduce the risk of discomfort while still giving you the results you need.
Braces are rarely uncomfortable at all, let alone painful. If you've been holding off on getting them because of fear of pain, don't worry about it. You're highly unlikely to feel any pain while you have your braces, and if you follow these directions, you won't even experience very much discomfort. Contact a clinic like Reed & Sahlaney Orthodontics, LLP to learn more if you still have questions.