Does Teeth Straightening Hurt?

This is a topic that is often feared by people who are considering straightening their teeth.

Orthodontic treatment can provide some slight discomfort during the initial stages. Whether you opt for traditional metal braces or Invisalign’s clear aligners, the shifting of your teeth’s position can be felt. After all, you are moving the position of your teeth! Everybody is different and everybody feels different degrees of discomfort. Some patients feel no discomfort at all.

If you opt for traditional metal braces you will have the brackets attached to your teeth. The brackets are then joined together using metal wires. In certain circumstances, the metal wires are held in place using rubber bands. You will almost certainly feel tender on the insides of your mouth including your tongue and cheeks. This is because of the sharpness of rigidness of the metal inside your mouth. A topical cream or gel can be used to ease such discomfort.

Invisalign’s clear aligners are made of plastic that feels smooth and comfortable inside your mouth. This is a big contrast to traditional metal braces and is one of the main reasons why many people prefer Invisalign over braces.

Another considerable factor is the Invisalign clear aligners being removable for brushing, flossing and eating. This gives you a greater chance of ensuring optimum oral hygiene, which is in contrast to traditional metal braces because the brackets and wires of braces can prevent you from being able to reach in-between and around your teeth and gums.
Both braces and Invisalign require adjustments to continue moving your teeth into the preferred position. With braces, you will need to regularly visit the orthodontist to have the wires and brackets adjusted. You will need to visit the dentist every 1 – 2 months, but the frequency of course depends on your individual situation.

With Invisalign cases, you do not need to visit the orthodontist as regularly as you do with braces. This is because you are given a set of aligners that you can change at home by yourself. You typically change the aligners every 7 – 14 days, but this time-frame of course depends on the prescribing orthodontist.

Whether you choose metal braces or Invisalign, you will more than likely have to wear a retainer following your treatment. This is to ensure your teeth don’t move back into the previous position.

So in summary, some, but not all patients experience discomfort during the initial stages of their teeth straightening treatment.