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The prospect of pain and discomfort is something that can put many prospective orthodontic patients off seeking the treatment they need. While everybody experiences pain differently, orthodontic discomfort can range from mild irritation to more pronounced discomfort, especially following adjustments.

Here at Chorley Orthodontics, we aim to provide you with the advice you need before embarking on such a big venture. We are your expert orthodontist in Chorley who can support and guide you through the process of braces to ensure that you have the most comfortable experience possible.


Is it Normal to Experience Pain and Discomfort with Braces?

Yes, there can be some discomfort when you first get braces, primarily due to the adjustment your teeth and mouth undergo during the initial stages of treatment. With fixed and removable braces, the brace system exerts gentle pressure on your teeth to encourage them to shift into the desired position.

However, it’s important to note that this discomfort is temporary and typically subsides within a few days to a week as your mouth adjusts to the new hardware. After adjustments to fixed braces or the swapping of a new aligner with Invisalign, it is also normal to feel some discomfort, however, orthodontic advancements have led to the development of more comfortable braces, reducing the intensity of initial discomfort.


Pain and Discomfort During Initial Fitting

With the initial fitting of fixed braces, including traditional metal braces, ceramic, and lingual, the fitting appointment can be long and sometimes uncomfortable but rarely painful. Fitting braces can take around 1 to 2 hours and in most cases can be done in 1 sitting, however, in more serious cases or if opting for lingual braces, which fix to the back of the teeth, it can be spread across 2. There can be intense feelings of pressure or discomfort, especially when first fitted, due to the intrusive nature of the event.

With removable aligners and functional braces, the first time your aligners are placed over your teeth will feel tight and slightly uncomfortable due to the force of movement applied to your teeth, however, this discomfort will subside with time, and by the time you come to change your aligner, should be gone completely.


Tightening and Adjustments

Adjustments to fixed braces, including ceramic and lingual braces, can often cause discomfort. Around every 2 months, your orthodontist will see you to tighten the archwire on your braces, which in turn helps to move your teeth into the desired position. This can often feel like a firm, pressure-like, or stretching feeling. With removable aligners, there are no adjustment appointments, you are responsible for changing your trays every 2 weeks, following your orthodontist’s plan. Every time these trays are changed, the pressure will focus on different teeth, so it is possible to feel tightness and pressure on the teeth. You will, however, need to see your orthodontist to ensure that your teeth are on track.


End of Treatment and Removal

Having braces removed is not painful, it can feel a little strange to have fixed braces removed after having them in your mouth for so long and it can feel a little uncomfortable at first, but it doesn’t take long for your mouth to get used to it. For metal, ceramic, and lingual braces, the archwire is removed first, then special orthodontic pliers are used to gently crack the adhesive and take off the brackets. This sounds alarming but no pain or damage is caused to your teeth. The metal rings are then removed from your back molars, which anchor the braces in place, and then a polish is completed to remove the remaining glue. With removable aligners, the process is much less intrusive, you simply stop wearing your aligner and move on to wearing a retainer.


How to Handle Discomfort with All Types of Braces

Having something new attached to your teeth can be a cause of irritation for your cheeks and gums, so it is possible to experience a small amount of discomfort from this. However, there are many tips and tricks which can help, such as:

  • Over-the-counter pain relievers, such as ibuprofen or paracetamol, can help alleviate any initial soreness.
  • Braces can sometimes cause irritation or sore spots on the cheeks or lips. Applying orthodontic wax to the braces’ edges can provide a protective barrier.
  • During the first few days after getting braces, sticking to a soft diet can help minimise discomfort. Opt for softer foods like yoghurt, mashed potatoes, and smoothies
  • Salt-water rinses can also help to calm your lips, cheeks, and tongue as they adjust.


Speak to an Expert Orthodontist in Chorley for all You Need to Know

As your orthodontic journey progresses, you’ll likely find that the initial discomfort diminishes. Your orthodontist will continue to make adjustments, and your teeth will gradually shift into their new positions so it’s important to stay committed to good oral hygiene and follow your orthodontist’s instructions to ensure the best possible results.

If you would like further information on the process of getting braces fitted or have any questions, contact your specialist orthodontist in Chorley. We will assess and guide you through relevant options and support you, ensuring you are as comfortable as possible with your new braces.

Book a free consultation today with your expert orthodontist in Chorley.


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