Braces: Do They Hurt and What to Expect

Orthodontist in San Clemente, CA

Many people share the fear of a dentist or orthodontist. However, as with most fears, it stems from an irrational source. Most of the time people are afraid of dental appointments because they anticipate pain or don’t know what to expect, and that is no different for those who are getting braces for the first time. Braces often bring about fears of pain or prolonged discomfort, but neither is true. In reality, the placement procedure is likely painless, and those in recovery will only experience minor discomfort while getting accustomed to the changes.

Placement Procedure

The placement procedure is virtually pain-free. There is no need for drilling or incisions, meaning that recovery time is minimal. Braces are adhered to the teeth using a cement and adhesive primer. There is likely no need for anesthetics of any kind. The only part of the procedure that may be slightly uncomfortable is the use of a cheek retractor, which is necessary to keep the teeth dry and visible throughout. The process can take up to 30 minutes depending on bonding time.

Recovery Time and Expected Discomfort

The recovery process after the placement procedure should be smooth without too much discomfort. However, most patients are advised of the three phases of recovery.

  1. Immediately following the procedure -Patients may experience some sensitivity while eating. Also, they may notice that it takes a little longer to eat. However, this is likely due to the initial adjustment period and will pass. During the first few days, hard foods should be avoided.
  2. Up to three days following the procedure – Patients may notice some discomfort due to the realignment process. Some of the discomfort may be related to the initial adjustment and pressure of the elastic ties and adjustment wire. Over-the-counter pain medications and relief wax can be used to sooth these issues.
  3. After a week – Patients should be fully recovered. Eating should be more comfortable, and the patient can resume eating normal foods.

Managing Discomfort

As stated above, while discomfort should be minimal, patients can use over-the-counter pain relievers. Also, they will likely be provided with orthodontic relief wax to help with any soreness. Your orthodontist will probably have other suggestions to help with any residual discomfort.

Necessity of Regular Orthodontic Visits

Due to the nature of braces, regular orthodontic visits are a necessity. The archwire and elastic ties will need to be changed frequently throughout the alignment stages to manage adjustments.

While it is true that some discomfort may be experienced after the initial placement procedure, it should be minimal. As for the procedure itself, you should not experience any pain. However, if you are concerned, then contact your orthodontist in San Clemente, CA and ask questions.

Call John Redmond Orthodontics for their insight into dentistry and what to expect when getting braces.