If you are considering an orthodontic appliance to straighten your teeth, you may also be afraid of the potential for pain and discomfort that may come with it. You are not alone as many people are under the misconception that these
appliances cause pain or injury to the lips and gums. It is true that orthodontic appliances do have an assortment of wires and brackets that may look like they would cause pain; however, the reality is that installation of the device is painless since it will be applied to the outside of the teeth.
The installation of orthodontic appliances does not involve drilling or piercing of the gums. There are no needles or other sharp objects used and there is no need for general anesthesia when having an orthodontic appliance fitted. Some braces will be clipped onto the teeth while others are cemented in place. Can you still get braces if you have fillings? Yes, you can. Filled teeth can be treated using orthodontic treatment just like teeth with no cavities.
The Truth about Orthodontic Appliances
It is important that you understand some basic facts about orthodontic appliances before you get fitted with one. By educating yourself, you can help ease your fears and make the experience of getting one less stressful.
The device can be mildly uncomfortable for a short while after installation. This discomfort is due to your mouth adjusting to the pressure as your teeth are realigned. The discomfort is usually gone in a few days. During this time, you should opt for foods that are not hard or chewy. Another option is to consume a liquid diet that consists of soup, smoothies and other drinks.
Another potential cause of discomfort is irritation caused by the appliance rubbing against the inside of the mouth. Your orthodontist may provide you with wax that can be used to ease this irritation. To use the wax, you simply apply it to the outer parts of the appliance. If the irritation is caused by only one part of the appliance, then the wax can be molded over that one part. The wax is easy to apply and older children and adults should have no trouble doing it though smaller children may need help from their parents. Along with using the wax, you may want to rinse your mouth frequently with salt water. This is a time-tested method of treating soreness in the mouth.
If a particular area in your mouth becomes sore or develops ulcers, you may be able to treat it with a gel purchased at the pharmacy. If the sores or ulcers do not go away in a few days, you should make a return visit to your orthodontist to see what they can do. It may be caused by a wire that is protruding a little and coming into contact with your cheek as you talk or eat. In some cases, the soreness might occur months after having the orthodontic appliance installed. This is because of the movement of your teeth. In this case, the solution is simple as your orthodontist can simply cut off the wires and eliminate the cause of irritation.
How to Treat the Pain
Over-the-counter painkillers like ibuprofen may be used to treat the discomfort if it is especially distracting. Ordinarily, the pain will not be severe enough to require the use of prescription painkillers. Topical anesthetics are not usually necessary either since the discomfort is not usually on the surface of the gums.
The Top 10 Orthodontic Facts
One way to relieve the pain without the use of drugs is simply to chew on something. Along with exercising jaw muscles, chewing also massages the gums. The result is increased blood flow around the mouth, which may help to lessen the soreness and aching caused by the appliance. Your orthodontist may provide you with a bite wafer. It is u-shaped and you can bite on it to relieve the pain.
There are restrictions when it comes to selecting the right food so it is a good idea to ask your orthodontist about the types of food you can eat. They may also provide you with a list of foods to avoid with a particular appliance. Shortly after having the appliance installed, it may be beneficial to switch to a liquid diet for the first week or so; however, not everyone can do this.
Any pain and discomfort should fade once your mouth grows accustomed to the appliance. Eventually, most people forget that they are wearing one.
Temporomandibular Joint (TMJ) Problems and Orthodontic Appliances
Occasionally, TMJ problems arise after the installation of orthodontic appliances. The result may be joint pain and other issues for the patient. It is important to note that orthodontic treatment does not cause these problems but they may occur simultaneously. In most cases, TMJ disorders are the product of chronic muscle tension and habits like grinding the teeth. The symptoms may also be the product of arthritis or previous trauma.
Removal of Your Orthodontic Appliance
Eventually, your appliance will be removed and this is just as painless as the installation. Removal is straightforward
and involves taking the wires and brackets from your teeth and cleaning off any leftover cement. The removal of cement is performed using a special bur in a dental drill that will not damage your tooth enamel or cause any pain. This procedure will take approximately 45 minutes and any discomfort from it is likely to be minor.
Stafford Orthodontic Treatment
Due to clinical research and new technology, orthodontic treatment has made significant advances in the last few decades. Many of those advancements have dealt with the problem of discomfort. The goal has been to make the installation and wearing of orthodontic appliances comfortable and problem-free for the patient. If you are looking for a place where you can get braces in Stafford, note that our orthodontists have the experience and training to ensure that the treatment progresses without any issues for our patients. In addition, we use the latest orthodontic braces and advanced techniques to ensure a positive outcome. If you are in the Stafford or Fredericksburg area, contact us today to schedule an appointment.
Beecroft Orthodontics – 10472 Georgetown Dr, Fredericksburg, VA22553 Phone: 540 898 2200
Do Orthodontic Appliances Cause Pain?