Do Braces Hurt? Your Ultimate Guide

Discomfort with braces

Welcome to our comprehensive guide on one of the most common questions we get about dental care: Do braces hurt? If you’re considering braces for yourself or someone close to you, there’s a good chance you’re curious about whether they’re going to be uncomfortable. Don’t worry; you’re not alone in wondering! We’ve put together this guide to help you understand what to expect and to reassure you that any discomfort is manageable.

What are Braces?

So, what exactly are braces? In simple words, braces are tools that dentists use to help straighten your teeth. They can make your smile look better and improve your dental health. People get braces when their teeth are crooked, too crowded, or if they don’t come together correctly when they bite. Braces gently push your teeth into a better position over time, and while they’re pretty common among kids and teenagers, adults get them too!

Braces come in different types. The most common kind is made of metal and is attached to the outside of your teeth. But there are also ones made of clear plastic or ceramic that are less noticeable. Some people even get braces that go behind their teeth where no one can see them.

Traditional Braces

Do Braces Hurt? Understanding the Discomfort

Now, the big question: Do braces hurt? When you first get your braces on, and sometimes after you have them adjusted, your teeth and mouth might feel a bit sore. This is totally normal and most people feel it. Think of it like starting a new exercise. The first time you work out, your muscles might be sore, but over time, they get used to it. It’s the same with braces, your mouth just needs time to adjust.

When you first get your braces, you might feel pressure on your teeth. This is because the braces are starting to work on moving your teeth into their new positions. For most people, this feeling goes away in a few days. During this time, eating soft foods like soup, yogurt, and mashed potatoes can help. Drinking cold water can also make your mouth feel better.

After your braces are on, you’ll have appointments to adjust them. These adjustments are important because they keep your teeth moving in the right direction. After these appointments, you might feel that soreness again, but just like before, it won’t last long.

Factors Influencing Discomfort

So, why do some people find braces more comfortable than others? Well, a few things can change how your braces feel. Let’s look at some of these:

Types of Braces

Not all braces are the same. The kind you get can affect how you feel.

  • Metal braces: These are the ones we see a lot. They can make your mouth feel a bit sore at first, but you get used to them quickly.
  • Ceramic braces: These are a bit like metal braces but are made to blend in with your teeth, so they’re not as noticeable. Some people say they’re more comfortable than metal ones.
  • Invisible braces: These are clear trays you wear over your teeth. Most people find them the most comfortable. Since clear aligners are smooth and less bulky and provide efficient and faster results.

You can also read our detailed blog on to find the best teeth straightening option in Australia.

 Invisible Braces

Individual Pain Threshold

Everyone is different when it comes to what we can handle. Some of us might not mind the feeling of braces at all, while others might find them a bit annoying at first. It’s all about how your body responds to new things, including braces.

Dental Health

Your teeth and gums’ health plays a big part, too. If you have issues like cavities or gum disease, you might find braces more uncomfortable until those problems are taken care of. Keeping your mouth clean and healthy makes a big difference.

Managing and Reducing Pain

If you’re feeling sore because of your braces, don’t worry. There are plenty of ways to help make things better. Here’s how:

Pain Relief Methods

  • Eat soft foods: Right after you get your braces put on or adjusted, stick to soft foods. Like, smoothies, soups, and mashed potatoes.
  • Cold things help: Ice cream and cold smoothies are also great for sore mouths. Cold water works well too.
  • Pain relievers: Sometimes, a little over-the-counter pain relief can help. Just make sure to use it as directed.

Oral Hygiene Tips

Keeping your teeth and braces clean can really cut down on discomfort. Brush gently but thoroughly, and don’t forget to floss. Flossing with braces takes a bit more time, but it’s worth it.

What to Avoid

Some things can make the discomfort worse, like hard or sticky foods. So, you need to say goodbye to things like nuts, caramel, and gum. Also, try not to poke around your braces too much, especially if you’re feeling sore.

Remember, it’s normal to feel a bit of discomfort when you first get your braces or after an adjustment. But with these tips, you should be able to keep it under control. And always, if something feels really off, talk to your dentist or orthodontist. They’re there to help make your journey to a straighter smile as smooth as possible.

What to Expect in the Long Term

After the initial adjustment period, you might be wondering what the long-term journey with braces looks like. Good news: it gets easier. Here’s what you can expect as you continue your path to a straighter smile:

Adjustment Over Time

As days turn into weeks, you’ll notice the discomfort from your braces becomes a distant memory. Your mouth adapts, and those initial days of soreness will fade. Just like getting used to a new pair of shoes, your mouth gets used to the braces. Before you know it, you might even forget they’re there!

Regular Check-ups

Visiting your orthodontist regularly is part of the journey. These check-ups are important to make sure everything is moving along as it should. Sometimes, your braces will need a little tweak here and there, which can bring a bit of discomfort back, but remember, it’s all part of the process towards a beautiful smile. These appointments are also your chance to discuss any concerns or discomfort you might be experiencing, so don’t be shy about sharing.


Starting your braces journey might seem a bit scary at first, especially when you think about the discomfort. But as we’ve talked about from the beginning to what happens in the long run, you can see that any soreness is only for a short time and something you can handle. Knowing what’s coming and how to deal with it makes the whole process easier. Every little bit of discomfort gets you closer to having a great smile. Just remember to take good care of your braces, keep talking to your orthodontist, and stay positive. Before you know it, you’ll see a big change not just in your smile, but in how you feel about yourself. So, get ready for a big change, because an awesome smile is on its way!


1. How long does the pain last?

For most people, the discomfort from braces is only significant in the first week or so. After adjustments, you might feel some soreness for a few days, but it’s much less intense than the beginning.

2. Can I play sports with braces?

Absolutely! Just make sure to wear a mouthguard to protect your braces and your mouth. It’s an extra step, but it keeps you safe while you stay active.

3. What are the signs something is wrong with my braces?

If you feel sharp pain, see any broken wires or brackets, or if something just doesn’t feel right, call your orthodontist. They can help fix the issue and make sure you’re comfortable.

4. How do I clean my braces?

Brush gently around each bracket and wire with a soft toothbrush and fluoride toothpaste. Flossing is crucial, too, and there are special flossers designed to make it easier with braces. Your orthodontist can show you the best way to keep your braces and teeth clean.

5. Will I have to wear a retainer after my braces come off?

Yes, retainers are an important step to keep your teeth from moving back to where they started. Your orthodontist will give you one and tell you how often to wear it. Think of it as the final stage in securing your new smile.


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