At what stages would soreness most be felt?

There are several stages throughout the treatment where pain and discomfort would be most pronounced:

  • Day when braces are placedAt the onset, the soreness would be due mostly to the stretching of the mouth and the pressure exerted on the teeth during the fitting of braces. If the patient has had any of his/her teeth extracted before the fitting of braces, this will also add some the discomfort. Once the braces, bands and brackets are placed, some soreness may set in as the teeth, lips and mouth adjust to the dental appliance.
  • First week from placementThe patient will likely feel the most discomfort within the first week from the day the braces were installed. This is because the teeth start to take the most pressure from the metal wires and elastic bands. It may take one to two weeks for the teeth, lips and cheeks to get used to the braces. If the metal wires cause any sores to form inside the mouth, the orthodontist may prescribe a dental wax to put over the edges or corners of the braces for protection or prescribe an over-the-counter pain reliever.
  • Two weeks from placementBy this time, the teeth will have gradually adjusted to the braces, and there will be hardly any discomfort. The patient should continue to take care in eating certain foods particularly hard, chewy and sticky food in order to avoid damaging the braces.
  • Follow-up appointments After the braces have been placed, the patient will be required to report for regular orthodontic appointments. As the teeth move to their proper alignment, gentle pressure needs to be constantly applied. During regular visits, the orthodontist may adjust the tension of the braces and elastic bands or change/replace any parts as necessary. The patient will feel some soreness or discomfort during the first few days following an orthodontic adjustment, but this will pass and the patient will be able to resume normal activity.

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