So, do braces really hurt? This is probably the most commonly asked question that we get at Staples Orthodontics, and the answer is – it depends. First, we explain to our patients that the type of soreness that is involved with braces is not anything like a throbbing or pounding pain. The actual soreness is more like a bruise – something that you know is there, but doesn’t really hurt until you push on it. Secondly, we explain that everyone has a slightly different pain threshold and if they do feel a little bruising after their appointment, it will probably be gone within a couple of days. Eating a soft food diet is very helpful during this period.
In the past, some orthodontists have had their sensitive patients bite on a soft plastic wafer immediately after their appointment. This was designed to shorten the soreness period by increasing the blood supply to the teeth and their surrounding structures, but we’re not really sure if it really worked that well. Recently a new product was introduced to the orthodontic profession that is a battery operated vibrating bite wafer that has the same purpose as the old one. Since it is new, we’ll have to wait and see if it gets positive reviews. Theoretically, you can probably get the same result by lightly closing your teeth and humming your favorite tune.
Lastly, we’re always on the look-out for things to take the hurt out of braces. That’s why, for years, we have provided our patients with gum to chew on after their appointments.