Braces hurt so bad? 8 Tips for instant pain relief

My braces hurt so bad I can't sleep

When having braces, it’s not uncommon to encounter challenges along the way, and one of the most prevalent struggles is the pain and discomfort that braces can cause, specially when you first have them.

If you’ve found yourself lying awake at night, unable to sleep, you’re not alone.

Let’s discuss together what you can expect when it comes to braces-related pain. I’ll provide you with insights and tips to help alleviate your discomfort and find much-needed rest.

Remember, although the journey can be tough at times, the end result is a beautiful smile that makes it all worthwhile.

Tips for braces pain: How to sleep with braces

If you find yourself in a situation where you’re feeling unbearable braces pain, here are some actionable steps you can take:

1- Over-the-counter pain killers

If the pain you’re feeling is caused by the actual teeth movement that is happening, then pain killers are your choice.

Non-prescription pain relievers, such as acetaminophen (Tynelol) or ibuprofen, can help alleviate the discomfort associated with braces.

Tynelol is available at any local pharmacy. You can find it also on Amazon here.

2- Orthodontic wax

Before bedtime, just take a bit of orthodontic wax and put it on any brackets or wires that is hurting you. If needed, apply wax to all your brackets. While you sleep, the wax acts as a barrier between your braces and your oral mucosa, helping you sleep comfortably and wake up feeling good.

The wax acts as a protective barrier, reducing friction and providing immediate relief. You can find it on Amazon here, it’s very cheap (less than $6)

3- Warm saltwater rinses

Gently rinsing your mouth with warm saltwater can help soothe sore gums and alleviate discomfort. Dissolve half a teaspoon of salt in eight ounces of warm water and swish it around your mouth for 30 seconds before spitting it out. Repeat this process several times a day as needed.

4- Cold compresses

Applying a cold compress or ice pack to the outside of your mouth can help reduce inflammation and numb the area, providing temporary relief from pain. Wrap the ice pack in a thin cloth or towel and hold it against the affected area for 10 to 15 minutes at a time.

5- Soft diet modifications

Stick to soft foods that require minimal chewing to reduce the strain on your teeth and braces. Opt for items like mashed potatoes, smoothies, soups, yogurt, and soft fruits until your discomfort subsides.

6- Orthodontic adjustment

If the pain from your braces is persistent and severe, it may be necessary to schedule an appointment with your dentist or orthodontist.

They can evaluate the situation, make necessary adjustments to your braces, and provide additional recommendations for pain relief.

Remember, discomfort during orthodontic treatment is normal, especially after adjustments or when you transition to a new set of aligners.

However, if the pain becomes unbearable or is accompanied by other concerning symptoms, it’s crucial to reach out to your orthodontist for guidance.

Maintaining open communication with your orthodontist throughout your treatment journey is essential.

They have the expertise and experience to guide you through the challenges of braces, ensuring you achieve your desired results while minimizing discomfort.

7- Be patient

It’s important to remember that braces discomfort is temporary and a normal part of the orthodontic process. As your teeth gradually shift and adjust, the discomfort will subside.

Keep in mind that the duration and intensity of the pain may vary from person to person. Patience is key during this time, and reminding yourself of the ultimate goal—a beautiful, aligned smile—can help you stay positive and resilient.

8- Maintain good oral hygiene

Proper oral hygiene is crucial when you have braces, especially during times of discomfort. Be diligent about brushing your teeth after each meal and flossing at least once a day.

Pay extra attention to clean around the brackets and wires, as food particles can get trapped easily.

Use a soft-bristle toothbrush and fluoride toothpaste to gently clean your teeth and braces. Additionally, consider using interdental brushes or a water flosser to reach areas that are challenging to access with traditional floss.

Can you sleep with wax on your braces?

The short answer is yes. In face, it is advisable that you sleep with wax on your braces. This will ease your pain and protect your mouth from the friction that happens between braces and your oral mucosa. Even if you swallowed the wax, it will not harm you. It is made of materials that can be safely swallowed.

Can you sleep with wax on your braces?

How Long Does the Pain from Braces Last?

The duration of pain from braces can vary from person to person, as well as depending on the specific stage of treatment.

In general, it’s common to experience some level of discomfort or soreness for a few days to a week after adjustments or when you first get braces.

This pain is usually due to the pressure exerted on your teeth and gums as they begin to shift and adapt to the new positioning.

During the initial stages of orthodontic treatment, such as when braces are first placed or after adjustments, the discomfort may be more noticeable.

However, as your teeth gradually adjust and become accustomed to the braces, the pain tends to subside.

It’s important to note that while the initial pain may diminish, it’s not uncommon to experience some level of soreness or sensitivity throughout your orthodontic treatment.

This can occur after subsequent adjustments or changes in treatment, such as switching to a new set of aligners or getting a new wire.

Overall, the pain from braces is temporary and typically resolves within a few days to a week. Over-the-counter pain relievers, orthodontic wax, warm saltwater rinses, and following good oral hygiene practices can help alleviate discomfort during this period.

If you experience persistent or severe pain that doesn’t improve or if you have any concerns about the level of pain you’re experiencing, it’s important to contact your orthodontist.

They can evaluate your situation and provide additional guidance or adjustments as needed to ensure your comfort throughout the orthodontic treatment process.

How much do braces hurt on a scale 1-10?

As I said previously, pain and discomfort are common during the various stages of orthodontic treatment. You may experience different levels of pain depending on the severity of your case and the type of braces you have.

During the initial stages of treatment, you may experience discomfort as your teeth and gums adjust to the pressure of the braces. This discomfort is typically mild and can be managed with over-the-counter pain relievers. The pain level during this stage usually falls between 1-3 on a scale of 1-10.

As treatment progresses and adjustments are made to the braces, you may experience a higher level of pain. This is because the teeth are being moved more aggressively, and the braces are applying more pressure to them. The pain level during this stage can range from 4-7 on the pain scale.

Finally, towards the end of the treatment, you may experience discomfort as their braces are removed, and their teeth settle into their new positions. This discomfort is typically mild to moderate and can be managed in the same ways as before. The pain level during this stage usually falls between 1-5.

Why braces hurt in the first place?

Braces can cause discomfort or pain primarily due to the pressure they apply to your teeth and surrounding tissues.

When braces are initially placed or adjusted, they exert force on your teeth, which stimulates a process called orthodontic tooth movement. This force prompts the teeth to shift and reposition gradually, aligning them into the desired alignment.

The pain or soreness you experience is a result of your teeth and jawbone responding to this applied pressure. The pressure triggers biochemical reactions within the surrounding tissues, including the periodontal ligament, which connects the tooth to the jawbone.

These reactions lead to bone remodeling, allowing the teeth to move into their new positions.

Additionally, the braces themselves can sometimes cause irritation or discomfort. The brackets, wires, and other components of braces may rub against the soft tissues of your mouth, such as your cheeks, lips, or gums, causing sore spots or ulcers.

This friction can contribute to the overall discomfort experienced during orthodontic treatment.

It’s important to remember that the pain and discomfort from braces are normal and expected. The level of discomfort can vary depending on factors such as the severity of your orthodontic issues, the type of braces used, and your individual pain tolerance.

While the initial discomfort may be challenging, it typically subsides as your mouth adjusts to the braces and your teeth begin to move.

Over time, you’ll likely become accustomed to the pressure, and subsequent adjustments may cause less discomfort.

Hey there! Dr. Husam Alhurani (DDS) here! 👋

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