Unfortunately, every person who wears braces is going to experience some discomfort. The worst pain usually happens after the braces have first been put on and then, to a lesser extent, each month after the braces are tightened. Your mouth feels uncomfortable because your teeth are going to be loose (so that they can move). It’s also uncomfortable because your teeth are a lot weaker than they used to be. This is the reason that the foods you would eat regularly can cause so much pain when you try to eat them after your braces have been put on.
Here is the good news: there is quite a lot that you can do to avoid discomfort while you have braces.
Eating soft foods is the advice you will get the most often and for good reason: it’s good advice. For a few weeks after you first have your braces put on and for a few days after each tightening, you are going to have an extra sensitive mouth. During this time you want to eat the softest foods that you can. Soup, pudding, yogurt, milkshakes, Jell-O, mashed potatoes, etc. These foods don’t force you to chew, so you won’t feel much pressure on your teeth.
You should also take care to pay attention to the types of foods and beverages you eat and drink. Things that are high in their acidity levels like sodas can be detrimental. It’s also important to avoid foods that are extra sticky and sugary.
Sadly, by the time you get your braces taken off, you probably aren’t ever going to want to eat pudding or Jell-O again but while your mouth is “in transition” they can be quite helpful.
If you still have pain—even when you aren’t eating or drinking, you can do a lot of things to help yourself. An over the counter pain reliever can be helpful. They can reduce the swelling happening in your gums—just make sure that your orthodontist says that such a practice is okay. You can also try putting a heating pad on your face—the heat helps relax your facial muscles. Cold compresses can also be good because they can alleviate any swelling that might be affecting you.
If you have pain that is severe, you need to call your dentist or orthodontist immediately. Sometimes this kind of pain can be indicative of an infection and you need to be checked out by a doctor.
Unfortunately, it hurts to have braces. This is just a fact of life. The good news is that there is always something that you can do to help yourself feel better.