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Braces and Pain: Your Questions Answered

By June 15, 2020September 14th, 2023No Comments

As a Kelowna braces provider, we get a lot of questions about braces pain. As Dr. Scramstad, a general dentist practicing orthodontics only, tells his patients, you should never feel real braces pain and true orthodontic emergencies are extremely rare. However, there are times when your teeth and gums will be a little sensitive and tender or you could have a minor issue crop up that affects your comfort. We’ll be covering them in this guide to our most frequently asked questions on the topic:

Does getting braces hurt?

No. Getting braces put on doesn’t hurt. It actually doesn’t really feel like much at all. We don’t use needles or drills or anything like that. We start by prepping the teeth with a solution so the special glue we use will stick. Dr. Scramstad then places the brackets on each individual tooth and the adhesive ensures they stay put. He wraps it up by threading an arch wire through the brackets. When he’s done, you’ll go on about your day. You can even go right back to school or work. That being said, a few hours after getting braces put on, you may start to feel some sensitivity. That’s because your braces are exerting steady, gentle pressure to shift the teeth into place.

What are some tips for how to stop braces pain?

Like we mentioned before, you shouldn’t feel serious braces pain. However, your teeth will be sensitive after getting your braces put on. To prevent discomfort, you can be proactive by taking an over-the-counter pain reliever right before your bonding appointment. This way, it’s working by the time your teeth and gums begin to feel tender.

How long do braces hurt? The discomfort will subside in a few days. To help, stick with soft foods and cold drinks for a day or two after getting your braces and until you feel ready to tackle your normal diet. Mashed potatoes, applesauce, soup, smoothies, milkshakes, ice cream and yogurt are all great options. You can also try using a salt water rinse. Dissolve a half of a teaspoon of salt in a glass of warm water. Swish it around in your mouth before spitting it out. Repeat this as often as necessary. 

How long do your teeth hurt after getting braces tightened?

Another common question we hear is, how long do your teeth hurt after getting braces tightened? This sensitivity is less than when you first get your braces put on and goes away more quickly. It usually subsides in a day or two. Again, you can stick with softer foods and cold drinks, take an over-the-counter pain reliever, though most patients don’t need it, and try the saltwater rinse.

Does getting braces off hurt?

Getting braces off doesn’t hurt either. Again, we don’t use needles. Dr. Scramstad gently loosens and pulls off your brackets using a special tool. He then carefully scrapes off any leftover adhesive, we polish your teeth and you get to admire your brand new smile.

What can I do if my braces irritate the inside of my mouth?

When you first get your braces put on, the brackets and wires can irritate your cheeks and lips. It takes a few weeks for your mouth to toughen up and then the irritation will go away. In the meantime, you can alleviate it by swishing with a saltwater rinse. You can also carefully dry off the part that’s irritating you with a clean cotton swab or piece of tissue. Then, break off a small piece of orthodontic relief wax. Roll it in between your fingers to warm it up and stick it on the offending part of your braces. It will act as a buffer between your braces and the soft tissues of your mouth. 

How can I stop a poking braces wire?

A poking braces wire can be annoying but it’s an easy fix. If you have excess braces wire, which can happen after you break a braces bracket, your first step is to try to gently push the wire out of the way and against the nearest tooth using the eraser end of a new pencil or a clean cotton swab. You can use some orthodontic wax to cover it. If pushing it out of the way doesn’t work and the piece is really long, you can very, very carefully try to snip the extra wire using nail clippers, or a small side cutter, that have been cleaned and sterilized in alcohol. Give our office a call and we’ll let you know if you should come in to have it repaired. We can also walk you through the troubleshooting tips if you need help.

There you have it. You won’t feel any severe braces pain but you can have some mild discomfort, especially during the first few days after starting treatment. Thankfully, it’s easily managed. If you have any questions or you’re ready to learn about your options for straightening your teeth, schedule a consultation at Straight Smiles in Kelowna today. For your convenience, we also offer virtual consultations so you can get started from the comfort of your own home. 


Dr. James Scramstad

Author Dr. James Scramstad

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