The question of whether orthodontic treatments hurt or cause a lot of discomforts is one of the main concerns of patients. Many people who need to improve their occlusion and require a dental appliance fear that the pain is too strong, but nothing could be further from the truth.
It is indeed possible to experience certain discomfort throughout the treatment, especially during the adaptation period, it does not interfere with day-to-day life. Besides, the advantages of orthodontics far outweigh any inconvenience, so we explain how to alleviate the discomfort and which orthodontics is the least painful.
Why do orthodontics treatments hurt?
The objective of orthodontic treatments is to correct any type of malocclusion problem.
This end can only be resolve by small dental micro-movements in the arches that are carried out gradually.
Thus, with the constant and adequate pressure of the appliance on the pieces, the teeth change according to the planning of the orthodontist.
This sensation of pressure or push increases after each monthly check-up, when the dentist tightens the ligatures of the brackets and the arch.
It is important to distinguish pressure from the fact that orthodontics hurts because, if it were as painful as they lead us to see, no child would be able to carry it. We must put aside the myth of this pain and give it its proper name.
When does orthodontics hurt?
The process of placing orthodontic dental appliances in the mouth is completely harmless.
It can only generate discomfort derived from having had your mouth open for a longer period of time than we are used to.
However, once the orthodontist has completed the placement, it is common for us to notice a sensation that is usually described as “painful”:
As we have commented previously, this pain is the expression of the experimentation of a pressure to which we are not used. These discomforts are caused by an accentuated stress on the teeth.
Above all, these discomforts occur when biting and in most cases subside after 2 to 3 days.
It is common for them to appear both at the time of placement of the appliance and after the orthodontist’s check-ups. During these appointments, the dentist makes necessary adjustments to the braces. But the pressure of the teeth is not the only reason why orthodontics can, at first, be a bit bothersome.
When we put on braces, we find a foreign body in the mouth that we have to practice. For this reason, and due to friction with the oral mucosa, it is common for small sores or canker sores to appear on the tongue and inside the lip.
This is especially common in orthodontic treatments with braces and its incidence is diminished in Invisalign procedures.
What other causes do we associate pain with orthodontic treatments?
Apart from the reasons that we have explained, pain is associated with other interventions that are carried out only if the specific case requires it.
On some occasions, tooth extractions are recommended, especially in severe cases of crowding.
If this is your case, we must clarify that the extractions are pull off under the effects of anesthesia and that, during the procedure, you will only feel a slight initial prick.
Once the effect of the anesthesia has subsided, it is usual that you begin to feel slight discomfort.
To mitigate their effect, the intake of analgesics is speaking favorably. In any case, you should not worry: the pain will subside approximately three days after the extraction.
Another procedure that can generate some fear in patients is the placement of microscrews in orthodontics. They are small implants that are temporarily placed in the jawbone when more complex movements have to be performed.
Thanks to the screws, the appliance achieves the necessary force and grip to carry out the displacement of the teeth. It is a very simple procedure that, like extractions, perform under local anesthesia.
The patient will be able to lead a perfectly normal life and, in case of feeling any discomfort, the orthodontist will prescribe the intake of painkillers.
How can the discomfort derived from orthodontic treatments be soothed?
Depending on the cause of this annoyance, we can distinguish two different types of solutions:
Pain due to tooth movements
We must clarify that any pressure on the teeth will generate an uncomfortable sensation, but they can be minimized.
Whenever our trusted orthodontist recommends it, you can resort to taking analgesic medications. There are also anesthetic gels that we can apply directly to the affected surface. Its action numbs the area and reduces the incidence of discomfort.
Wounds in the mouth (sores or thrush)
Against chafing and sores, the most effective is to use special wax for orthodontics, which can be purchased in pharmacies.
To do this, just make a small ball and apply it to the bracket or area of the device that causes discomfort.
As a complement, it is possible to purchase specific products in pharmacies to accelerate wound healing.
What home remedies are there to relieve orthodontic pain?
Orthodontics is a treatment that lasts several months. So we want to give you a series of tips to make it more bearable.
Take care of oral hygiene
The most important thing is that you be careful with your oral hygiene and dedicate the necessary time to it.
Since braces make hygiene difficult. So, it is convenient to use other types of utensils and not just limit ourselves to the brush.
Thus, interdental brushes and oral irrigators. Such as Waterpik, are very effective in removing food debris that traps up in the appliance.
Avoid certain foods
While adjusting to orthodontics, you can eat a soft food diet to make chewing easier.
Eating very cold foods also helps alleviate discomfort, as they have a numbing effect on the area.
Certain foods should get rid of during treatment to avoid breaking braces. Such as especially hard or sticky ones.