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Do metal braces hurt?

Gregory J. Jorgensen, DMD
Orthodontics & Dentofacial Orthopedics

Any orthodontic "appliance" that moves the teeth is going to "hurt." Braces, retainers, aligners, and everything else used to move the teeth creates inflammation in the ligaments around the teeth setting in motion the chemical changes that cause the tooth to move. That inflammation is uncomfortable. Luckily it only lasts a few days.

The process of getting metal braces usually does not hurt. The orthodontist might temporarily place spacers in between the teeth to make room for braces, which may cause soreness.

When applying metal braces, the orthodontist bonds, or glues the brackets onto the front of your teeth and attaches wires to them.

You may experience some gum or tooth soreness after each adjustment because the teeth are moving. The soreness lasts only a few days and indicates that the metal braces are working.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.