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Are Braces Painful?

teenage girl with braces

Traditional braces, whether they are the metal, clear, or ceramic kind, are some of the most popular treatments available here at the practice of Dr. Chris Murphy. With that in mind, one of the most common questions we receive among both children and adults who are considering braces for their orthodontic needs involves the level of discomfort they can expect while wearing them. After all, braces will need to be worn for an extended period to achieve the best results. The good news is, orthodontic braces have become much more advanced over the years and are not as uncomfortable as you may believe.

Since each patient has unique needs, and since orthodontic treatments are customized to the individual, the overall experience will vary depending on the amount of correction required, the technique utilized, and other factors. Metal or ceramic braces will feel differently from a technique such as Invisalign®. For those who are undergoing treatment with traditional braces, the initial treatment process should not cause excessive discomfort. There will likely be some soreness for about a week after the braces are placed as your teeth and other oral structures adjust to the pressure and the new sensations caused by the brackets and wires, but most patients get used to them fairly quickly. Dr. Murphy can give you some wax to place over sensitive areas that are prone to rubbing against soft tissues of the mouth.

If you have opted for Invisalign® treatment, you won’t need to worry about brackets and wires. This technique utilizes clear plastic aligners to gently move the teeth into a straighter position; however, you may feel a slight level of soreness at first when a new aligner tray is placed on the teeth. This effect should dissipate within a few days. If the trays are more noticeably uncomfortable for longer periods of time, it’s a good idea to contact us about the issue so that we can make sure the tray is fitting properly.

Although orthodontic treatment often requires a brief period of adjustment in the beginning, the mild discomfort or annoyance you may experience should significantly fade and the process often proves to be relatively painless!

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