Do Braces Hurt?

There are many questions that Dr. Rafaill gets asked about braces, such as: How long do you have to wear braces? What can you eat with braces? Why do I need braces over other choices? But the question with the most anxiety is always: Do braces hurt?!


At Straight Smiles Orthodontics, we understand all of the big feelings about braces. Thankfully our team is here to guide you through the experience and make it as easy to manage as possible. We can spend some time today discussing pain with braces and how to deal with any challenges that may come up. 

When Your Teeth Might Hurt From Braces

The first thing you need to know about getting braces is that there should never be sharp pain associated with your treatment. If you are experiencing sharp or continuous pain, either when biting, or poking into your gum or cheek, then the chances are good that there is something going on with your tooth or with the braces themselves. In these instances, get in touch with our team and we will schedule you for an emergency appointment where we can check things out. 


Aside from these abnormal and rare occurrences, the rest of your treatment should only include brief moments of dull or aching discomfort due to the shifts happening with your teeth! Let’s talk more about those moments and what you can expect!

When They First Go On

When your braces first come on, there are a lot of adjustments happening at the same time to all of your teeth. This means that your mouth might be a bit tender for a few days. This part of the process isn’t super fun, we know, but there are some easy ways to help support you during this period that we will discuss more below. It is certainly helpful to know what you’re getting into beforehand!

When You Have Adjustments to Your Treatment

You will be coming to our office regularly throughout your treatment to have adjustments. At these appointments, Dr. Rafaill will observe your progress and recommend changes or adjustments to your braces to continue shifting your teeth and jaw into alignment. You may find that your mouth is a little sore when you get home from these appointments, too. Thankfully, this kind of ache is usually fairly quick to adjust to! Use the same tips we will talk about below to help support yourself through this uncomfortable time. 

As Your Teeth Shift

This point of braces is to shift your teeth, right? That means that sometimes you will feel discomfort as the braces do their work! Occasionally twinges of discomfort are normal for people who wear braces, but remember what we said before: you should not have sharp or constant pain. Definitely get in touch with us if your pain feels unmanageable or unusual!

A How to Handle Discomfort

Pain Relievers

To start, take some over-the-counter pain medication as recommended by Dr. Rafaill. This can take the edge off of your discomfort and ease your transition.

Warm Compress

You can use a warm compress to help soothe the aching muscles of your face. Warmth will soothe your pain and help you through those tougher moments, like when you are trying to fall asleep or after you eat. 

Eat a Soft Food Diet

Be sure to stock up on plenty of yummy and easy-to-chew foods! For a few days, you’ll want to easy things like soups, smoothies, jello, pudding, apple sauce, cottage cheese, scrambled eggs, and more to reduce discomfort and still get some nourishment. You should be feeling much better within 3-4 days!

Wax and Silicone 

If your mouth is feeling tender from the new metal or ceramic rubbing the inside of your cheeks, then grab some dental wax or silicone patches! These items are created to press over your brackets and be a protective layer while your mouth adjusts! 

When to NOT Expect Pain With Braces

Getting Braces On or Off

The process of getting your braces put on or removed from your teeth should be pain-free. As orthodontic technology has improved over the years, so too have the methods to place and remove braces. Some slight pressure might be felt when your braces pop off, but no pain!  

All the Time

We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again–you should not be struggling with constant pain while wearing braces! Once you adapt to adjustments, your teeth should be happy and healthy, and feel good. So Don’t gear yourself up for misery during your treatment, there are so many fun, happy days to look forward to while the braces are on and after they come off! 

Find the Supportive Team You Need at Straight Smiles Orthodontics

At the end of the day, know that Straight Smiles Orthodontics is here to support anyone in the Shelby Township, Novi, or Rochester Hills areas! Give our office a call to get started on your own treatment, or even just come in for a free consultation to find out your next steps. We can’t wait to meet you!