Do Braces Hurt When They Are Put On?

It is a common misconception about braces that placing them causes pain and discomfort. But in reality, do braces actually hurt? Honestly, they do not hurt at all while they are being fixed on the teeth; therefore, do not worry and spend your time anxiously worrying about your next dental appointment.

The placement process is pain-free, although we do not imply in any way that the whole treatment of straightening teeth via braces do not hurt. You will notice certain mild to moderate soreness or discomfort after this wire is joined with the freshly placed brackets. The discomfort may last from about a few days to 1 week.

Usually, patients undergo discomfort majorly during the first 4 days to a maximum of a full week after getting their braces, wires, or expanders introduced in the mouth or after an adjustment to the wire of any sort.

Your oral cavity structures, such as the lips and cheeks, will require a few weeks, probably 3, to get used to the braces on your teeth. Every device or wire set for the procedure is state of the art that puts light, continuous, and biologically safe forces that reduce soreness associated with this treatment. Read more to know how much do braces hurt after placement.

How Much Do Braces Hurt?

As mentioned above, the fixation of the wire or bracket of braces do not hurt, but as the treatment starts showing its effect, the pressure on teeth causes discomfort and pain.

The Day of Treatment – Placement Day

Braces do not hurt when they are being put on. It is called the bonding process, which sticks the teeth and brackets together using medical glue. After placement, during the first few hours, you suffer from difficulty eating food. This is basically due to the foreign matter in your mouth – braces. You and your oral cavity will take some time to adjust to braces and to learn to have meals with them. On the other hand, in certain cases, the individuals may feel extra sensations on their teeth than usual.

Therefore it is best to skip difficult, hard-to-eat edibles and go for a softer, semi-solid, or more liquid-based items for the time being; a few examples include shakes, yogurt, soup, mashed potatoes, etc. The start of your day right after putting braces on will not be easy; as the day progresses, your teeth will start moving, causing pain.

After 2 to 3 Days

Just like D-day, the next few days are also tough. What is the reason behind it? Well, this is because right after fixation, the teeth start undergoing their realignment process – slight shifting. Since they are not used to the pressure of the elastic ties and archwire, discomfort is inevitable.

Luckily, there is a way to ease the pain – orthodontic wax. What does it do? Silicone creates a barrier, provides a smooth surface, and gets rid of irritation on the inner cheeks and lips because of constant contact between the wires and soft mouth tissues.

Day 5 after Placement

5 days into the treatment, the initial pain linked to the braces should subside to a considerable extent. The teeth to this day, slowly acquainted themselves with the new object – braces with them, and by this time, eating becomes easier as well. Certain elements of the diet, such as hard foods, may still act as a threat to the wires, but regular eating to an extent is possible at this point.

Orthodontic Follow-up Day

Regular follow up is of key importance in this treatment. This is because the archwire needs changes and adjustments, elastic (colors) or metal ties on the braces are replaced, and the progress of the ongoing orthodontic treatment is monitored.

Braces give direction to the teeth by moving them via gentle pressure to a new and better alignment. That is the major reason why gentle forces are applied at the time of your regular adjustment visit. The first few days to weeks after getting an adjustment via braces is quite uncomfortable. However, this discomfort goes away with time.

How Long Do Braces Hurt?

Here is an outline of the details explained in the earlier paragraphs:

Placement Day (bonding):
The treatment itself is painless but has slight changes after placement.

Days 1 to 5:
Pain and soreness are seen inside the oral cavity, and DIY home remedies are available to make things easier.

Day 5 and Beyond:
The teeth start to hurt less as days pass after getting braces.

Tightening Appointment:
The pain subsides but revamps after the strings are tightened because pressure increases on the teeth.

Does It Hurt To Get Rid Of Braces?
No, it does not. Braces removal is a pain-free procedure, just like its placement.

Top 8 Methods for Braces Pain Relief
Below are some of the most common home-based resorts for relief from braces pain.

  1. OTC pain Medicines – drugs such as ibuprofen are beneficial for relieving braces pain. Ensure that there is no underlying allergies that you might not know of.
  2. Orthodontic Wax – a dental wax, different from others, best to place on the brackets or wires for soothing irritation.
  3. Analgesics – topical numbing agents desensitize the mouth and ease the areas being hurt by braces.
  4. Ice Chips – suck on ice cubes or popsicles to get rid of inflammation, irritation, or pain.
  5. Saltwater Solution – using this concoction as a mouth rinse works wonders in reducing pain and discomfort of the mouth.
  6. Do Not Eat Hard Foods – have soft, semi-solid, or liquid items, especially in the beginning, since the adjustments are new and the pressure of biting a hard edible might displace the braces.
  7. Stimulate Blood Flow – it is said that after braces, the blood flow decreases in that area which is one of the reasons why they hurt. Therefore, gentle chewing of food is recommended to induce flow.
  8. Do not Skip Brush and Floss – be watchful of your routine. Keeping the mouth clean and fresh becomes increasingly important after this treatment.


Now you know what to expect after getting this orthodontic treatment. Yes, braces do hurt but not at the time of placement or removal. What you feel is just a slight pressure on the teeth for alignment. Looking for the best dentist in San Diego, CA? Contact Nimmi Shine Dental for Help. Reach out to us at 858 999 8550.

Dr. Joseph Mara

Dr. Joseph Mara

For more than 19 years, Dr. Joseph Mara has been a leading dentist in San Diego, providing affordable, gentle, and honest dental care. Driven by a commitment to patient’s trust and satisfaction, he undergoes continuous education and specialized training in oral implantology and endodontics. At his practice – Nimmi Shine Dental, convenience and comfort are paramount. Utilizing advanced technology such as the Vatech PaX-i3D Scanner and Computer Guided Implant Surgery, the clinic emphasizes efficiency and overall patient well-being. Call us today at (858) 999-8550 to schedule a consultation with our expert dentist.


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