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Do Braces Really Hurt?
We often associate braces with children and teens, but did you know that one in five orthodontic patients is an adult? You’re never too old to get braces if you’re considering them. Unfortunately, some people may still be hesitant.
After all, we’ve all heard the horror stories of sore, painful teeth from our friends and family.
So, do braces hurt that much? Or is it all a bunch of hype?
In this article, we’ll answer these questions and more. That way, you’ll know for sure whether braces are the right choice for you or your child. Let’s get started!
Are Braces Painful?
One of the first things patients worry about is how their braces will feel. It’s important to note that there will be some pain that accompanies your braces. Luckily, the pain isn’t sharp — it’s more of a dull aching sensation.
This ache occurs because even pressure is applied to the teeth which causes them to slowly shift. However, the pain doesn’t last forever. It typically only occurs after the braces are tightened.
Most of the time this ache can be managed with over-the-counter painkillers, like Tylenol or Advil. If you experience more pain than usual, then make sure to tell your orthodontist.
They may be able to adjust the braces differently to accommodate your pain tolerance. Keep in mind that most of the discomfort that comes with braces is due to the unusual sensation of them.
Luckily, this sensation usually goes away after the first five days. Here’s what to expect in that period.
What’re the First Few Days of Braces Like?
The first thing that people with new braces notice is the different sensation. For a few hours, you may produce more saliva. This is because your tongue receptors think your new braces are food.
You should stop producing excess saliva after a few hours. Your lips or tongue may also feel a bit fidgety. However, after a day or two of checking out the new hardware, you should get used to it.
During this time you will also need to stay away from harder food. The filling used to attach braces takes at least forty-eight hours to dry completely. During this time you should stick to soft foods.
Eating food may also feel like a strange sensation. You may notice some light scrapping during these first few days.
Usually, this toughens up in the first week. However, if you have a sore in your mouth, then you can use some wax to protect it from the braces.
How Do You Eat With Braces?
As we mentioned before, you should stick to soft foods during the first few days after you get your braces. What is soft food? Think of things that don’t require a lot of chewing: mashed potatoes, soups, oatmeal, and smoothies.
Once the discomfort of the early days goes away you can go back to eating normal food. However, there are some foods you should try to avoid. Sticky and hard food can damage your braces.
If you do decide to eat them, then eat carefully in small bites. Otherwise, you can break your braces. This can cause pain and prolong the amount of time you need your braces on. You should also be careful about eating popcorn with braces.
The kernels can easily slip under your gums. This will cause infection and further pain.
How Do You Clean Your Teeth With Braces?
Just because it’s more difficult to clean your teeth with braces doesn’t mean you can ignore it. Bad oral hygiene can cause unsightly staining around the braces, as well as cavities. So how do you clean? Brush your teeth after every meal if you can.
This will help remove any excess food that gets caught in the wiring. Make sure you brush your teeth with fluoride toothpaste for at least two minutes. When you have to floss, you will need to use a floss threader.
This is a device that lets you slip the floss underneath your braces. Also, remember that the bristles on your toothbrush will wear down faster when used with braces. So replace it every two to three months.
When Should You Get Braces?
As we mentioned before, it’s never too late to consider getting braces. However, if you’re a concerned parent, then you may be wondering when your child should see an orthodontist.
The American Academy of Orthodontists recommends having your child visit an orthodontist before the age of seven.
Why so early? The main reason is early diagnosis. This trip will help you and your doctor determine if and when braces are needed. Often with braces, the earlier the treatment, the better the outcome.
How Long Do Braces Need to Stay On?
The amount of time that braces stay on depends on a variety of factors. The distance the teeth must travel, the available room, and the strength of the supporting bone can all prolong the amount of time they need.
Generally, all braces stay on for at least one to three years. After this period, individuals will wear a retainer for six months to keep the teeth aligned.
What Do You Do If Your Braces Break?
If you experience an orthodontics emergency, then your orthodontists will be able to help. Simply contact the office and schedule an appointment.
Most offices are staying open through COVID-19 for emergencies.
Are You Interested in Braces? Get in Touch With Aloha Orthodontics Today
We hope this article helped convince you that any pain that comes with braces is no big deal in the long run. Once you see your brand new smile we think you’ll be convinced that any discomfort was worth it.
If you’re an adult or parent looking for a reliable orthodontist, then we hope you’ll choose Aloha Orthodontics. We pride ourselves on providing a truly fun environment. After all, who can think about pain when they’re having a good time?
If you’re curious about our office, then contact us today to see what all the hype is about!
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