Do Braces Hurt?

The most common question we hear from patients of any age is, “Will my braces hurt?” The answer is generally, no, but there is some soreness after each adjustment. Let us walk you through this step-by-step.

The retractors are the metal tools used to hold your mouth open and your tongue down when you’re fitted for braces. It might be a little uncomfortable but it doesn’t actually hurt. It’s more awkward than anything else.

Next, the conditioning, rinsing, drying and tooth sealing process is absolutely pain-free.

The third step is gluing the brackets on the tooth and curing the cement with a blue LED light. Nope, not painful at all.

Then we place the first set of wires into the bracket slots and secure them with ligatures (ties) to hold it all together. We’d say this is a “piece of cake” but we don’t want you to eat cake. So, let’s just say this is also painless. The ligatures are either O-rings or thin metal wires.

Some of you will need spacers, which are made of rubber and placed between the teeth. This will feel awkward; you’ll feel pressure as the spacers are inserted.

With all of these procedures, there is no discomfort at first. But 24 to 48-hours later, as the process starts to work, you’re going to feel soreness in your teeth and gums. This soreness can typically be alleviated with over-the-counter analgesics like Tylenol or Advil usually get you through this process.

What’s Happening that Causes the Soreness?

Braces work by applying steady pressure to move teeth into a better position. Braces create an inflammation at the base and roots of the teeth. This happens because the braces pull or push the tooth, cutting off blood flow to the side of the tooth that’s moving. This causes lactic acid to form, which is the same chemical that’s created when you work out. If you go to the gym, lift weights, and are sore the next day, that’s lactic acid build up in the muscles, which causes the muscle to get bigger.

While you don’t want your teeth to look like mini-Arnold Schwarzenegger’s, you do want the underlying tissue to break down and reform with the tooth in the right place. This process is what makes your mouth sore after you’ve had a wire adjustment. Once the tooth moves into the right spot, the pressure will be relieved and the soreness will go away.

Truman Orthodontics – Types of Braces Available

While this process works the same for all types of braces, there are three basic types of treatments to choose from:

  • Traditional metal braces made from stainless steel. Although we call them “traditional” the old school heavy braces are gone, giving way to a much lighter and gentler set of braces.
  • Ceramic braces are less visible than metal braces and very popular with adults and teenagers.
  • Invisalign are virtually invisible braces made out of a clear poly-plastic material. They are removable so you can brush and floss your teeth like normal, making them a very popular option for all patients.


Contact Truman Orthodontics to find out more.

Share this post

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *