One of the most common questions that we at Smiles Hollywood Orthodontics hear is Do Braces Hurt? That is a great question and there are a lot of things that go into answering this question. So, let’s start from the day a patient gets their braces on. On the first day that a patient has their braces placed on their teeth at Smiles Hollywood Orthodontics, their teeth will feel different. At first, the braces may feel a little rough to the patient’s gums; However, nothing should be poking in the mouth or cheek or gums. If something is, please let the doctor or the orthodontic assistant know right away. We always tell all of our patients that as soon as they get their braces on, to go and eat a pretty substantial meal because in a few hours their teeth will feel sore. We also let our patients know that they can take any type of pain medicine that they would normally take for a headache to help alleviate any pain or discomfort (for example, Advil or Tylenol).

The majority of our patients at Smiles Hollywood Orthodontics who ask Do Braces Hurt, will tell us that it was only uncomfortable for a few days after placement of the braces. However, you have to remember that everyone has a different threshold for pain and discomfort. The body is very adaptive and will get used to the braces quickly. For some patients, it may only take two-three days after getting the braces on to become completely adjusted whereas others may take a few more days to adjust.

At Smiles Hollywood Orthodontics, we want our patients to be as comfortable as possible while they are in braces. So, another thing to remember when asking Do Braces Hurt, is that our orthodontic wires are heat sensitive which means that they work at body temperature. So, eating and drinking cold liquids right after an adjustment, such as slushies and milk shakes or ice cream or even ice-cold water, can help with any discomfort since the nickel titanium orthodontic wires will relax and therefore stop pushing on the teeth. The cold liquids or foods will help to alleviate pain that a patient may have.

Another big part to the question, Do Braces Hurt, is that orthodontic discomfort is generally cyclical. In other words, right after a patient comes for an appointment to adjust the braces, there may be some initial soreness in their teeth, but the discomfort usually only lasts one or two days, and then the patient will have little to no pain at all until the next adjustment. Right after an adjustment, we advise patients to eat softer foods for a couple of days until the soreness dissipates or goes away. The types of soft foods that can be eaten on these days include yogurt, applesauce, mashed potatoes, pasta, ice cream, smoothies, protein shakes and any other foods such as these.

Since we now know that discomfort in braces is mostly going to occur right after adjustments made at your orthodontic appointments, then another question that patients often ask us other than do braces hurt, is how often do I need to come in for orthodontic appointments? Most of the time, patients will have their appointments about every six to eight weeks apart. This can vary if the patient also has some sort of a skeletal appliance as well, but for the most part, the appointments will be six to eight weeks apart. Of course, if anything breaks or is causing discomfort in between the appointments, we ask that you call us right away, so we can get you in to adjust or fix whatever may be broken or causing discomfort. It is important to call us if anything is loose or broken because if anything is poking or broken or loose, it is probably not doing what it is supposed to be doing, and this could extend your treatment time. So, be sure to come in to Smiles Hollywood Orthodontics to get things fixed right away!

When asked the question, Do Braces Hurt, it is also very important to remember that while a patient is in braces, they should not eat anything sticky, gooey or chewy, such as taffy, caramels, gummy worms, etc. Also, the patient will not want to bite into anything hard with their front teeth, such as an apple. Patients can still eat apples, but they need to have the apple sliced up, so they are not biting into an apple with the brackets on their front teeth. The brackets are glued on really well, but they still can become loose or even fall off, if the patient bites into really hard things with their front teeth. The patient should not be chewing on ice or hard candy while they have braces on their teeth. Some other really hard foods that should be avoided while in braces include really chewy or hard pizza crust or bagels. Also, beef jerky can be very hard or chewy and should be avoided too. Another food that patients should avoid eating, while in braces, is popcorn. So many people love popcorn, but the kernels are very hard on braces and can get wedged in between the patient’s gums and wires and cause problems. So, it is best to avoid popcorn while in braces. There is a great alternative to popcorn that patients can have however, and that is the Pirates Booty popcorn that can be found in the chip aisle in most grocery stores. It does not have the kernel in the middle of it (hulless), but it still tastes like popcorn and is a great alternative to popcorn while in braces.

We at Smiles Hollywood Orthodontics are going through orthodontic treatment with you. We have an open-door policy; therefore, we are always happy to discuss with you, the parent, or the patient or both any questions or concerns that you may have. The doctors and the orthodontic assistants are very knowledgeable about the particular braces that you or your child are wearing, and we will always happily assist you with any questions or concerns regarding your orthodontic treatment. We want you or your child to have a beautiful Hollywood smile and we are here to help you! We want our patients to be excited about coming to their appointments and enjoy their time, while in braces. The important thing to keep in mind is to “see” the end result, which is a spectacular Hollywood smile!

If you are ready to get started towards your beautiful smile, please call our office at 972-529-9700 or click here to schedule your complimentary exam with one of our caring and accomplished doctors! We look forward to seeing you soon!