What you should expect when you put on your braces or Invisalign.
A question that I get all the time from patients in my orthodontic office is, “Will my braces or Invisalign hurt?” This is actually on most people’s mind when considering braces or Invisalign. No matter what type of orthodontic treatment you choose you will most likely have some level of pain, soreness or discomfort with your teeth at the beginning of treatment. However, the discomfort is not typically a sharp pain but instead more like soreness that you feel for the first couple of days when you first start with braces or Invisalign. Most patients say that the first three days are the toughest and that after that the soreness goes away. It is also important to remember that pain is subjective and patients have different treatment details that can greatly vary the feeling that a patient feels during treatment.
Tips to help make your braces or Invisalign treatment be less painful:
1) Eat softer foods the first few days of braces. Often times, the most painful moments when someone first starts their braces or Invisalign is when they eat for the first two or three days. A very helpful tip is to eat softer foods that do not require your teeth to put a lot of pressure. For example, you can have mac and cheese, mashed potatoes, meatloaf, applesauce, etc.
2) Use wax to cover any sharp edges on the braces or Invisalign.
3) Use plenty of lip balm or Vaseline the first two days. Often times the initial appointments leave the lips dry due to having the mouth stretched to put on the braces. Using moisturizer on the lips can make the lips feel much better and ease the pain of the braces the first few days.
4) Eat something cold like ice cream, a milkshake or a smoothie. Often times a cold treat can make you feel relief and make you feel rewarded for your braces. Obviously, do not eat something that can possibly damage your braces or make a mess like caramel, hard nuts, etc.
5) Take a pain reliever. A very common remedy to the pain tat you feel when you begin your treatment is to take a pain reliever such as Motrin, Advil, Tylenol, etc. Make sure to avoid anything that can cause an allergy and consult your physician if you are taking any other medications.
It is also important to remember that the pain will get better and that the beautiful smile that will come at the end of treatment is 100% worth the temporary pain.