How long does it take to get braces?
For most types of braces, it takes about 1-2 hours. Dr. Koch will give you a better estimate of procedure time before he starts!
Does it hurt? For how long?
Getting the braces put on doesn’t hurt, but your teeth and mouth may be sore afterward. Usually, the discomfort, which is only a dull ache, lasts a day or two for teens and possibly upwards of a week for adults.
What to expect/tips for dealing with discomfort:
- Stick to soft foods for the first day or two – soup, mashed potatoes, yogurt, milkshakes, applesauce, scrambled eggs, mac&cheese, etc.
- If necessary, use over-the-counter pain relievers like acetaminophen or ibuprofen.
- Use orthodontic wax (you can get this at the orthodontist’s office or a drugstore) to avoid mouth sores in the first few weeks of your treatment. Use as much wax as you need to feel comfortable. To apply, just squeeze the wax between your fingers and press it on the brackets that are bothering you.
- Avoid sucking on or touching your mouth sores or teeth with your tongue or fingers. Because they’re so sensitive, the more you touch them, the more they’ll hurt.
- Avoid acidic drinks and foods (such as citrus juices or tomato sauce), which will irritate your mouth sores.
- Mouth sores can also be caused by accidentally biting the inside of your cheek while getting used to your braces. These sores should heal quickly, and the problem should go away once your mouth toughens up a bit.
- Your lips and gums may also develop sores because they aren’t used to the roughness of the braces yet. A weak solution of warm salt water (1/2 tsp of salt per cup of water) helps to ease the irritation. Rinse with warm salt water several times per day if necessary.
- Finally, know that things will get better. Once your mouth has a little time to adjust, any pain and irritation will go away – it will all get easier from here!
How long will it take to get used to my braces?
- Most patients are completely used to their braces after a week. Before long, you won’t even notice they’re there! However, it’s not unusual for teeth to occasionally start hurting for no apparent reason – this is normal and should go away fairly quickly. If necessary, treat with over-the-counter pain relievers.
- If the discomfort persists, don’t hesitate to call Dr. Koch’s office and ask about solutions!