When people learn they need braces, they often wonder, “Do braces hurt?” For a long time, people thought the answer was a resounding “Yes!” There was a belief that braces are uncomfortable, painful, and annoying from beginning to end, no doubt emphasized by the appearance of headgear. While KBL Orthodontics can’t promise your experience with braces will be entirely pain-free, we can say with certainty that braces do not hurt nearly as much as many people think they do!
But first, let’s talk about what braces are.
Braces are orthodontic appliances that straighten the teeth (and jaw) over time. These braces use brackets, wires, and (sometimes) ligatures to align your teeth. Fixed braces are glued to the teeth and can only be removed by Dr. Lewis! KBL Orthodontics proudly offers two fixed options: traditional metal braces and clear braces. The difference? Metal braces use brackets made of stainless steel and other strong metals, but clear braces use a polycrystalline ceramic material that is almost as durable! These appliances are great for orthodontic needs of varying severity; even the most complex of cases can still be addressed with these! The only drawback of fixed braces is that you must adjust your diet and oral hygiene routine to ensure the good teeth health and condition of your braces.
Another type of braces we offer at KBL Orthodontics is clear aligners. These are removable and do not require brackets, wires, or ligatures. Clear aligners are custom-made for everyone, meaning you get a fit that is snug and practically invisible to others. The removability of the aligners means you would not have to alter your diet or oral hygiene! You can continue to eat all your favorite foods and snacks, and brushing and flossing is as easy as it has always been; you just need to add cleaning your trays to your daily routine.
But do they hurt?
Okay, okay, we know we still haven’t answered the question. We’ll cover that now!
When your fixed braces are first applied, you will likely feel discomfort as your mouth adjusts. The friction against your cheek might initially feel weird, but you’ll quickly get used to it. Your teeth and gums could also feel a little sore because they are starting the movement process. Every few weeks, you will have a checkup appointment where we will adjust your wires to encourage teeth progression. After these tightening sessions, you might also feel soreness or aches for a few days.
Your clear aligners will have the same cycle. When you first begin wearing them, you will have a period of getting used to a foreign object in your mouth. The pressure will likely cause soreness and aches, just like with fixed braces. Your cheeks and gums will also need to get used to the new friction. Since you will wear the trays for one to two weeks before advancing to the next in the set, whenever you put on a new pair, your mouth will feel a bit uncomfortable. After a few days, this will go away.
Generally, however, your braces should not cause you any pain or extreme discomfort! If they do, you should call KBL Orthodontics and schedule an appointment with Dr. Lewis immediately so she can find and fix the cause!
Wait, what does “generally” mean?
Unfortunately, there are some moments when your braces might be a little more than just uncomfortable, but these circumstances are rare and pretty avoidable!
Remember when we said you need to adjust your diet for fixed braces? That’s because proper maintenance and care are necessary for your braces to be as comfortable as possible. Eating food not approved by Dr. Lewis when wearing fixed braces can put you at risk of broken wires or brackets, which can rub and poke your cheeks and gums. If you can’t make it to an appointment quickly, it can create mouth sores and open wounds, which hurt!
Patients with fixed appliances and active lifestyles should wear a mouthguard to protect their teeth and braces. You are more susceptible to mouth injuries during active treatment because of your braces and their effect on your bones. You may find us biased, but we believe orthodontic mouthguards to be pretty comfortable. We can even guarantee they are more comfortable than any injury you’d face without one!
Whether you have fixed or removable appliances, you must maintain oral hygiene! Oral health issues like cavities, gum disease, and tooth sensitivity can make your braces or clear aligners unpleasant. The conditions are usually temporary; however, if left untreated, they can cause permanent damage to your smile!
So, generally, no, braces are not painful. Sometimes uncomfortable, we’ll admit, but we will do everything we can to make them as comfortable as possible. We will also equip you will all the information you need for a pleasant experience out of the office.
Ready To Start Your Braces Journey?
Now that you know that braces are nothing to be scared of, visit KBL Orthodontics to discover if you qualify for braces!
Dr. Lewis and her team have been caring for the Dothan community for years and are excited to show you why people have continuously trusted them with their smiles. You can receive quality customer service and stunning results at a budget-friendly price at KBL Orthodontics.
Start your journey to a straighter smile! Schedule your free consultation with KBL Orthodontics today!