Dealing With Discomfort

The first question almost every would be orthodontic patient asks is “will it hurt?” This is probably due to the unsightly nature of most braces, and how they look like they may be able to cause some pain. Some people will say that it does, and some people will say they hardéy felt anything at all, but what is sure is one thing; there is at least some amount of discomfort that can be expected. Let us look at the situations in which braces can cause pain:

Initial Placement and Activations

Almost all patients complain of at least some initial discomfort. Your mouth will have to be dealing with a foreign object that is adhered to your teeth, and this is uncomfortable, if not downright painful at first. The jaws and mouth will feel sore, and the soreness will last for several days. This same soreness can be expected once a month when the activation sessions take place. During the activation sessions the braces are tightened, thus aligning teeth further into the direction they are meant to be in, thus the same amount of discomfort will be felt as at the initial session when the braces are put on, except the mouth will be better able to deal with the discomfort, and it should subside quicker.
The problem with judging how much pain or discomfort a patient will feel is that there is no unit of pain that can be easily measured. Each person will react differently to stimulus, and what can be painful for some may just register as mild discomfort with others.


Damage While Wearing The Braces

Fixed orthodontic appliances can hurt the mucous membranes in your mouth. Your mouth can get a little bit cut or bruised from friction, or form being pressed up against your braces. You will have to get used to speaking and eating again, but it should only take a couple of days. If you have lingual braces, your tongue is likely to get a little bit cut up at first, for the same reasons, you just need to get used to the appliance being present in the oral cavity. If trauma or unexpected situations happen, your tongue or your mouth can get caught in the brackets as well, and this can cause some tearing or damage.

Broken Appliance

If the appliance is broken or damaged, some sharp, pointy bits can begin to stick out, or in. This can lead to damage, it can hurt your periodontium or tongue. Usually, the wire is the bigger problem, if that breaks loose of the bracket containing it, it will stick out and poke you, which is painful, and should be dealt with immediately. A loose bracket can also cause the same problem, although it is much less likely to do so, as the bracket will just kind of a hover a few millimeters from your tooth as long as it is still being held by the wire.
Other than these situations, you shouldn’t feel any pain whatsoever. If you do still feel pain, even after 4 days of your initial activation, you should have an orthodontist check out your appliance, as this means you may be experiencing some sort of complication, and you should get that checked out.

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