Starting Orthodontics: How Painful are Braces on the First Day?

Aug 29, 2023 | About Orthodontics

little girl with ceramic braces

Getting braces can be intimidating. Between adjusting to the new brackets and wires, you’re also changing your diet and hygiene to accommodate your orthodontic journey. For many patients, a big question is how the braces will feel once they’re on your teeth – will your braces be painful?

At Pura Vida Orthodontics, we’re delighted to cover this (and more questions) on your transformative journey toward a healthier, more radiant smile! And the answer? No, your metal or ceramic braces should never be painful – even if your initial adjustment period can include a little soreness. In this blog, we’ll walk you through what to expect during your first week with braces. Let’s break it down one day at a time!

Day 1: The Starting Line 

On the day of your braces appointment (when they put them on your teeth), your mouth may feel strange—like everything is under pressure or a bit sensitive. This sensation is entirely normal; it’s just your teeth beginning to slowly straighten out! It’s best to stick to soft foods like mashed potatoes, smoothies, or yogurt during this time. Also, rinsing your mouth with warm salt water can help ease any discomfort. Remember, this slight discomfort signifies that your braces are already hard at work!

Days 2 and 3: Getting Adjusted

During the second and third days with your new equipment, you may experience more discomfort as your teeth continue to shift around. Your mouth will just need time to get used to this movement. 

You may notice a slight increase in sensitivity when biting or chewing. This is also when the inner parts of your lips and cheeks may start bumping into the archwire and metal brackets. To alleviate this discomfort, orthodontic wax can be a real lifesaver! Simply apply it over the areas causing irritation—it acts as a buffer between your braces and the soft tissues of your mouth.

And remember, Advil or Tylenol will help relieve some of that soreness. Remember to keep doing those warm saltwater rinses! 

elastic orthodontic rubber bands for braces

One Week In: Turning a Corner

By the time you hit the one-week mark, you should be totally adjusted to your new routine. Your mouth is now getting used to the braces, and the initial sensitivity should be minimal (or even entirely gone). You can even reintroduce some of your favorite foods into your diet (just remember to steer clear of anything too crunchy or sticky!). This is a positive sign that you’re on your way to getting a beautiful smile!

Embrace the Journey with Pura Vida Orthodontics

Your first week with braces is undoubtedly a period of adjustment, but remember that any discomfort you feel is temporary and a normal part of the process. At Pura Vida Orthodontics, we’re here to support you every step of the way. So, keep your eyes on the prize—a stunning, healthy smile—and know we’ll cheer you on throughout your orthodontic journey. Remember, patience and positivity are your best friends during this time. And even though the start can feel a little rocky, the result is worth minor soreness here and there while creating your brand-new smile!

Patients with bleeding, sustained pain, or braces damage should contact our office ASAP for an appointment. These symptoms aren’t part of the adjustment process, and you must be seen by your orthodontist!

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