Do Braces Hurt When You Get Them for The First Time?

Do braces hurt? If you have this question in your mind then the answer is ‘Yes’. Braces do hurt especially if you are a new wearer or when a dentist activates the wires which cause more pressure leading to pain.

Therefore, before going for the orthodontic treatment, you have to prepare yourself mentally and understand that the orthodontic treatment involves pain along with money. (1)


Pain in orthodontic treatment is initiated by internal factors such as reduced blood flow, pressure on the bone, external factors, such as friction of braces with oral tissue, pinching of wire in the tissue, etc.

The pain will last at least for a month until you get used to braces. But you can ease your pain by following the dentist’s instructions and a few tips such as having a soft diet, applying orthodontic wax in a case to friction, avoiding acidic beverages, etc.

If you are about to get the braces to make your smile more beautiful and probably worried about whether they hurt a lot, then you must go through this article to know everything in detail.

Why braces cause pain?

Orthodontic visits are painless, but the pain is initiated after the treatment and may last for weeks. Some of the common reason known to cause the pain in patients undergoing orthodontic treatment are –

Internal Causes

Internal changes occurring throughout the orthodontic treatment causes pain. These internal changes include –

  • Orthodontic braces exert the continuous pressure on the bone for tooth movement. The continued pressure causes bone resorption and once the tooth moved to the desired place, bone formation starts again. The changes that take place in bone induce pain.
  • The continued pressure exerted by the braces alters the blood flow in that region and leads to pain.

External causes

  • Continuous rubbing of the metallic braces with the oral tissue causes laceration of the tissue and pain.
  • Pinching of orthodontic wire in the back of the mouth damages the oral tissue and causes pain. The application of orthodontic wax can prevent this.
  • Reaction in the form of ulceration, inflammation induced by the body due to a foreign object, i.e., braces also cause pain.

What can you do to ease the pain?

Orthodontic braces are uncomfortable and painful, but you can ease your pain with following few basic tips –

Use an orthodontic soft brush

Use of soft bristle toothbrush minimizes the additional pressure on tooth while brushing and can get you relief from pain over time.

Gum inflammation is a painful condition and commonly seen in people who wear braces. Maintaining cleanliness of teeth becomes difficult in orthodontic patients. Hence, the dental plaque starts to harbor very easily and cause gum inflammation. (2)

So, if you want to maintain a good oral hygiene during the orthodontic treatment, then make sure that you floss once in a day, rinse with anti-plaque mouthwash and use an orthodontic brush.

Eat soft food

To ease the brace’s pain, go for soft diet such as softened rice, soft cooked vegetables, pasta, etc. Avoid sticky and hard food, as it increases the pressure on teeth.


However, medicine is not the solution for the pain induced by the braces, but it can ease your pain momentary. Pain is maximum in the starting days of the treatment or when the dentist activates the wires.

In such a situation, you can have painkiller prescribed by the dentist. Medicine helps to reduce the pain and mouth soreness. But remember, you can not exceed the prescribed dose.

Protect Braces

If you are wearing braces and play sports, then do not forget to use the mouth guard (3).  Cases of fall and accident frequently happen in the sports and can cause potential damage to oral tissue as well as the braces.

The bracket may break or wires may become loose causing pain, and it also adds to the expense of the treatment.

Avoid tissue irritation

Tissue irritation is the most common cause of pain in patients undergoing orthodontic treatment. Many times brackets or the pinching orthodontic wire leads to ulceration of the oral tissue leading to severe pain.

To avoid the tissue irritation, your dentist will give you orthodontic wax. You need to squeeze it and apply on the bracket which hurts your tissue. Breaking the contact of brackets with tissue will ease your pain.

If you tend to develop mouth ulcers, do not touch them with tongue or finger. Either rinse with saline water or use anesthetic gel for the relief.

Avoid acidic beverages

Avoid acidic beverages such as tomato juice, orange juice, coke, etc.

When will you get used to with your braces?

Usually, patients get used to braces in the first month itself. During the first month of your treatment, you might feel pain, fullness in the mouth, oral health maintenance issues, etc. (4).

Having pain with braces is entirely normal, and over time you won’t even realize that the braces are there in your mouth.


Final words

Pain associated with braces is unavoidable. However, you can minimize it and get used to it to some extent. Orthodontic treatment gives you successful results if you have patience, tendency to bear pain, follow regular dental visit and listen to instructions by the dentist.

If you want a beautiful smile, then you should go for the braces with the thought in mind that ‘no pain, no gain.’


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