Do Braces Hurt? Pain Management During Orthodontic Treatment

April 23, 2024

Do braces hurt? Well, getting braces can cause some discomfort, but it varies from person to person. Most people experience a few days of achiness after getting them put on or tightened.  However, some folks only feel mild soreness that fades within a few hours.

What are Braces, and Why Do We Get Them?

Braces are a dental treatment used by orthodontists to straighten crooked or crowded teeth. They can also fix overbites. The American Dental Association says abnormal bites usually show up between ages 6 and 12 when adult teeth come in. This is why orthodontic treatment often starts between 8 and 14 years old. Adults can also get braces in some cases.

Want to Know More About Braces and What to Expect?

Keep reading to find out more about braces, including how much they hurt and what to expect while you have them on your teeth.

When Do Braces Hurt?

Your teeth might feel sore after getting braces. This is normal, kind of like how your legs get sore after the first time you go for a run. Just like your legs get used to running, your teeth will get used to braces, too!

For about a week after getting braces, your teeth might feel a little tender, especially when you eat. Don't worry; it won't be super painful. To help your teeth feel better during this time, stick to soft foods like mashed potatoes, milkshakes, mac and cheese, soft sandwiches, soups, and smoothies. Basically, anything easy to chew!

After a week, your teeth will adjust, and you can eat regular food again. By your next orthodontist visit, your teeth won't feel sore anymore. But at this visit, they might tighten up your braces again, which can make your teeth feel a little tender once more.

The good news is that this soreness won't be as bad as the first time. Most people only feel sore for a day or two after getting their braces adjusted.

How Long Do Braces Hurt?

  • It's normal to have some soreness or ouchies in your mouth after getting braces put on. This usually goes away in a few days to a week.
  • The braces themselves aren't painful when they get put on, but your mouth might be sore because someone was working on it for a while. Don't worry, this is totally normal!
  • Lots of people wonder when the soreness will stop, but they might forget about how weird it feels to have braces in your mouth at first. It might take a few weeks to get used to that feeling, but after about 3 weeks, it shouldn't feel so strange anymore.

Pain Management for Braces

Most people's mouths will feel a little sore when they first get braces and again after they get tightened. This soreness is usually not too bad and goes away within a few days. But in the meantime, here are some things that can help:

  • Take pain medications you can buy at the store, like acetaminophen or ibuprofen (ask your parents first!)
  • Swish with warm salt water (mix 1 teaspoon of salt in a cup of warm water).
  • Eat soft foods like soup, ice cream, or yogurt that are easy on your teeth.
  • Drink cold drinks or eat cold foods to numb your mouth a bit.
  • Put a washcloth with ice on your cheek to make the soreness feel better.
  • You can dab some numbing gel on your gums with your finger or a cotton swab (ask your orthodontist about this).
  • Orthodontists can give you special wax to put on your braces so they don't rub your cheeks. You can also find this wax at some stores.
  • Avoid sticky foods, gum, and anything that might get stuck in your braces or break them.
  • Brushing and cleaning around your braces extra carefully will help keep your teeth healthy.

Call Your Orthodontist If

  • You have a lot of pain that doesn't go away after a few days, even after taking pain medicine.
  • Your braces feel really uncomfortable.
  • Your orthodontist can check your braces to make sure everything is fitting right and that there's nothing else wrong causing the pain.

Book Your Appointment with Orthodontics in Oviedo, FL

For any further inquiries regarding orthodontic treatment, don't hesitate to contact the specialists at Innovative Dental and Orthodontics in Oviedo, FL. We're here to alleviate any concerns you may have about braces and ensure your peace of mind. Our priority is to make your experience as comfortable as possible while we strive to deliver the smile you've been dreaming of!

Get in touch with us today by calling (407) 809-8973 to speak directly with our experienced orthodontic team. We're proud to serve as the leading orthodontists in Oviedo, FL, and look forward to assisting you on your journey to a confident, beautiful smile.


Indeed, braces have the potential to reshape various aspects of your face, including your jawline, chin, mouth shape, and even your lips. Nevertheless, it's crucial to recognize that these changes are primarily a result of correcting your teeth alignment and bite rather than direct facial manipulation. While braces can contribute to a tighter jawline and improved teeth alignment, these alterations typically occur gradually and may not be immediately noticeable.
Various patients support the use of braces, noting the various health benefits. Misaligned teeth can lead to a variety of dental issues, including difficulty maintaining adequate oral hygiene, increased susceptibility to tooth decay and gum disease, and possible jaw concerns.
Braces have the potential to enhance the appearance of your jawline, leading to a more harmonious facial profile. By adjusting and aligning both the upper and lower teeth, braces contribute to the creation of a symmetrical bite. This balanced bite not only improves dental alignment but also positively influences the contours of the jawline, resulting in a more aesthetically pleasing facial shape.
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