Fowler Orthodontics

Do Braces Hurt? What To Expect

Braces have long been a staple of orthodontic treatment, revered for their ability to transform smiles and improve oral health. However, one common question that arises among those considering braces is, “Do braces hurt?” It’s a valid concern, considering the notion of having metal brackets and wires affixed to your teeth for an extended period. In this article, we’ll delve into the topic of braces pain and discomfort, shedding light on why it occurs and how it can be managed effectively.

At Fowler Orthodontics, we understand that the decision to undergo orthodontic treatment is a significant one, and we’re committed to ensuring that our patients feel comfortable and informed every step of the way. With our expertise and personalized approach to care, we strive to minimize any discomfort associated with braces and empower our patients to achieve their desired smile with confidence. Let’s explore the factors behind braces pain and discover strategies for alleviating it, so you can embark on your orthodontic journey with peace of mind.

Understanding Braces Pain and Discomfort

Braces pain and discomfort are common concerns for individuals undergoing orthodontic treatment. It’s essential to understand that experiencing some level of discomfort is normal, particularly in the initial stages after getting braces or following adjustments. This discomfort typically arises from the pressure exerted on the teeth and surrounding tissues as they gradually shift into their new positions.

At Fowler Orthodontics, we emphasize the importance of open communication between our team and our patients. We want you to feel comfortable expressing any concerns or discomfort you may experience throughout your treatment journey. By understanding the factors contributing to braces pain and discomfort, you can better manage your expectations and take proactive steps to alleviate any discomfort.

Several factors contribute to braces pain and discomfort, including:

  • Initial Adjustment Period: After getting braces, it’s common to experience soreness and discomfort in the days following the procedure. Your teeth and gums need time to adjust to the presence of the braces and the pressure they exert.
  • Orthodontic Adjustments: During routine adjustment appointments, your orthodontist may tighten or readjust your braces to continue guiding your teeth into the desired positions. These adjustments can cause temporary discomfort as your teeth respond to the changes.
  • Soft Tissue Irritation: The metal brackets and wires of traditional braces can sometimes irritate the soft tissues inside your mouth, such as your cheeks and lips. This irritation may cause sore spots or ulcers, particularly in the early stages of treatment.
  • Orthodontic Appliances: In addition to traditional braces, certain orthodontic appliances, such as expanders or headgear, may be used to address specific alignment issues. These appliances can cause discomfort initially but typically become more tolerable over time.
  • Chewing and Speaking Adjustments: As you adapt to wearing braces, you may need to make adjustments to your chewing and speaking patterns. This transition period can also contribute to temporary discomfort as your mouth acclimates to the braces.

While braces pain and discomfort are inevitable to some extent, there are several strategies you can employ to manage and alleviate these symptoms. At Fowler Orthodontics, we’re here to support you every step of the way, providing guidance and personalized care to ensure your orthodontic experience is as comfortable as possible.

Managing Braces Discomfort

While braces may cause discomfort at times, there are several strategies you can use to alleviate this discomfort and make your orthodontic journey more comfortable:

  • Over-the-Counter Pain Relief: Over-the-counter pain relievers such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen can help reduce braces-related discomfort. Always follow the recommended dosage and consult with your orthodontist if you have any concerns.
  • Orthodontic Wax: Orthodontic wax can be applied to brackets or wires that are causing irritation to the soft tissues in your mouth. Simply roll a small piece of wax between your fingers and place it over the problematic area to create a protective barrier.
  • Saltwater Rinse: Rinsing your mouth with warm saltwater can help soothe sore spots or ulcers caused by braces. Mix a teaspoon of salt into a glass of warm water and swish the solution around your mouth for 30 seconds before spitting it out.
  • Soft Food Diet: Eating soft, easy-to-chew foods can minimize discomfort while you adjust to braces. Opt for foods like yogurt, mashed potatoes, soup, or smoothies that won’t put additional pressure on your teeth.
  • Orthodontic Relief Gel: Orthodontic relief gel, available at most pharmacies, can provide temporary relief from braces-related discomfort. Apply a small amount of gel to the affected area as needed, following the product’s instructions.
  • Orthodontic Adjustments: If you experience persistent discomfort or soreness, don’t hesitate to contact your orthodontist. They can make adjustments to your braces or provide additional guidance to alleviate discomfort effectively.
  • Good Oral Hygiene: Maintaining good oral hygiene is crucial for minimizing discomfort and preventing issues such as tooth decay or gum disease. Brush and floss regularly, being careful to clean around brackets and wires to remove food particles and plaque.

By incorporating these strategies into your daily routine, you can effectively manage braces discomfort and ensure a more comfortable orthodontic experience. Remember, it’s normal to experience some discomfort during treatment, but with patience and proper care, you’ll soon adjust to wearing braces. If you have any concerns or questions about managing braces discomfort, don’t hesitate to reach out to our team at Fowler Orthodontics for personalized guidance and support.


While braces may cause discomfort initially, understanding why they hurt and knowing how to manage the discomfort can make the orthodontic journey much more manageable. By following the tips outlined in this article, such as using over-the-counter pain relief, applying orthodontic wax, and maintaining good oral hygiene, you can minimize braces-related discomfort and ensure a smoother treatment process.

At Fowler Orthodontics, we understand that each patient’s orthodontic journey is unique, and we’re here to support you every step of the way. Our team is dedicated to providing personalized care and guidance to help you achieve a healthy, beautiful smile comfortably and efficiently.

If you have any questions or concerns about braces pain or discomfort, don’t hesitate to reach out to us. We’re here to help you navigate your orthodontic treatment and ensure that you have the best possible experience. Schedule a consultation with us today to learn more about how we can help you achieve the smile of your dreams.