We’ve come a long way baby when is comes to the discomfort associated with braces! You may have heard the stories of severe tooth soreness and even pain from friends and family who have experienced it in the past. Today’s modern braces and high tech wires are much more gentle in providing the forces needed to move your teeth.
Any soreness tends to peak in the first few days after placement of braces. This is because your teeth and surrounding tissues are not used to the forces being applied to them no matter how gently, so they respond somewhat defensively at first and this translates into some soreness and discomfort. Over the following few days your body with get accustomed to these forces and the soreness gradually subsides and is usually largely gone within a week. Research and experience has shown that the most effective way to ease any braces pain these first few days is the use of Ibuprofen. In addition, chewing sugar-free gum for a few minutes will exercise the ligament around the roots of your teeth which increases circulation and reduces soreness.
Generally, after this initial bout of soreness there is rarely a large degree of discomfort during the remaining time in treatment. Occasionally wire changes and/or adjustments can cause some localized soreness in a few specific teeth. If necessary some Ibuprofen and sugar-free gum should take care of any discomfort.
There is some expertise involved as well in the application of the braces and wires and subsequent adjustments. Seeing a well-qualified and experienced orthodontist like Dr. Dunn will help ensure you experience the lowest level of discomfort.
In addition, because of the somewhat different way in which Invisalign moves teeth, the soreness and discomfort associated with wearing clear aligners has been reported to be less pronounced compared to traditional fixed appliances like braces.
So, between more gentle force application with high tech wires/Invisalign and the prudent use of Ibuprofen/light gum chewing, the answer to the question “do braces hurt?” is generally NO!