Do Braces Hurt? What To Expect

woman smiling

Getting braces is a significant step toward a healthier and more attractive smile, but it often comes with a lot of questions and concerns. One of the most common questions people have is, “Do braces hurt?”.

Understanding what to expect in terms of discomfort or pain can help alleviate some of the anxiety that often accompanies orthodontic treatment.

This blog will address the potential sources of pain or discomfort, how long it typically lasts, and what you can do to manage it effectively. Whether you’re about to get braces or supporting someone who is, having the right information can make the process much smoother!

So, Do Braces Hurt?

The simple answer is yes, getting braces can involve some level of discomfort or pain, but the severity and duration vary from person to person. Some people experience more significant discomfort than others, while some may hardly feel any pain at all.

This difference depends on several factors such as individual pain tolerance, type of braces used, and the severity of the orthodontic issue being addressed.

What Causes Braces Pain?

When you first get your braces put on, there will be some soreness in your mouth as it adjusts to this new foreign object. As your teeth shift into their new positions, they are essentially being pushed and pulled, which can cause discomfort. Additionally, the braces themselves may irritate your cheeks and lips as they rub against them.

As you continue with braces treatment, there may also be soreness after adjustments or when wearing new aligners. This is because your teeth are being moved again, and it takes some time for them to adjust to the new pressure.

Some common reasons why braces hurt:

  • Soreness from pressure: Your teeth and gums may feel sore for a few days after getting your braces on or tightened. This is because the brackets and wires are gently pushing your teeth into new positions.
  • Irritation from wires and brackets: Sometimes, the metal brackets or wires can irritate your cheeks and lips, causing small cuts or sores. Using orthodontic wax to cover the sharp edges of the braces can help alleviate this discomfort.
  • Tenderness after adjustments: After each adjustment, you may experience some soreness due to increased pressure on your teeth as they continue to shift.

How Long Does Braces Pain Last?

The good news is that the pain or discomfort associated with braces usually only lasts a few days. The initial discomfort from getting braces put on typically subsides within a week, though individual experiences may vary.

After each adjustment, you may experience soreness for a day or two. However, this discomfort tends to lessen with each subsequent adjustment as your mouth becomes used to the pressure.

Tips for Managing Braces Pain

Here are some tips and strategies that can help manage the pain and discomfort associated with braces:

  • Eating soft foods: During the first few days after getting braces, stick to softer foods that don’t require much chewing. This will help alleviate any soreness in your teeth and gums.
  • Using over-the-counter pain relievers: If the discomfort is more significant, taking an over-the-counter pain reliever like ibuprofen or acetaminophen can help.
  • Rinsing with saltwater: Swishing warm saltwater in your mouth for a few minutes can also provide relief to any soreness or irritation caused by braces.
  • Using orthodontic wax: As mentioned earlier, placing wax on the brackets and wires that are causing irritation can prevent further discomfort.
  • Applying a cold compress: If your cheeks or lips are sore from rubbing against the braces, applying a cold compress can help reduce any swelling and numb the pain.

When to See an Orthodontist

While it’s normal to experience some discomfort with braces, if you have severe or prolonged pain, it’s best to speak with your orthodontist. They can check for any issues such as loose brackets or wires and make adjustments as needed.

If you are experiencing pain from your braces, give a call here at A Winning Smile Orthodontist. As a leading provider of braces and orthodontic treatments, our experienced team is dedicated to making your treatment as comfortable and pain-free as possible.

So don’t let the fear of pain hold you back from achieving the smile of your dreams – we are here to support you every step of the way!


In summary, braces can cause some discomfort or pain, but it is usually manageable and temporary. With the right strategies and support from your orthodontist, you can successfully navigate through the treatment process and achieve a beautiful, healthy smile.

Remember to follow proper oral hygiene practices during your treatment to prevent any further issues and always communicate with your orthodontist if you have any concerns. 

We hope this blog has helped address any questions or concerns you may have about braces and pain. If you’re considering getting braces, schedule a consultation with us today.


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