Probably the most common reason patients don’t go ahead with orthodontic treatment is that they have heard braces are painful.
Those of us with stressful and busy lives could do without the added hassle of dealing with the discomfort – especially if it could have an impact on job or school performance. It is natural to worry about this, and no brace treatment can claim to be completely painless because it’s the processes involved in moving teeth that cause the discomfort. None of this pain is directly caused by the fitting of the braces on the teeth or wearing them day to day – however for teeth straightening it really is “no pain, no gain”. But how can you avoid this?
As inflammation plays a key role in tooth movement and its side effect is soreness, the best way to manage it is to take anti-inflammatory pain killers such as ibuprofen. The key thing is to control the amount of discomfort you get, so start taking pain relief, even if you don’t have any pain, on the day your brace is fitted and on adjustment days (approximately every 6 to 10 weeks). Those patients using the AcceleDent unit are recommended to use it for 10 minutes both before and after appointments to help reduce discomfort recovery times.
You can expect some rubbing and chafing of the lips to occur, but again if you use comfort wax or soothing gels (e.g. Iglu or Bonjella) as soon as the symptoms occur, you should be able to prevent ulcers forming and speed up healing.
All in all, with some sensible planning, there is no reason why you have to be uncomfortable whilst you straighten your teeth.