Will having orthodontic treatment hurt?

We sometimes get patients contacting us because they are getting some discomfort from the braces and are worried it’s not normal. They often notice that their teeth also feel wobbly. As per my recent blog it is normal to experience some minor discomfort for a few days after having braces fitted and the occasional twinge after routine adjustments. Let’s explain first what is happening when braces move teeth:

The brace will try and move teeth to the ideal position by gentle force – therefore if a tooth needs to go forwards the brace will press the tooth forwards in the direction it needs to go. After a while the tooth cannot move any further as the bone around it is in the way, and some inflammation occurs. This inflammation starts the bone remodelling so the teeth can move again – if you like a kind of controlled demolition occurs. Inflammation is what causes the discomfort, so using a good anti-inflammatory pain killer like ibuprofen will help relieve this. It’s best to take this straight away after the brace fitting or adjustment to help minimise the inflammation. Any discomfort usually settles down after a few days to a week.

Obviously after the tooth moves, the bone will need to fill in behind it, and this takes longer than demolition (just like with buildings!) which is why teeth can feel wobbly.

So there’s no need to worry if you experience any of these symptoms – in fact it’s a sign that your braces are working! But even if you do not have discomfort or tightness the brace is still working away gently in the background.

Paula

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