What Causes Braces Pain And What Can You Do About It?

Anyone who has braces knows that it’s not all fun and games.  The process of getting your teeth nice and straight comes with the discomfort of having braces.  There are a few reasons why braces hurt such as getting ulcers from the brackets and wires, and also the pain of your teeth shifting into their new positions.  I’m sure you’ve been told that it will all be worth it in the end, which it will be.  But in the meantime, what can you do about braces pain?

New Braces Pain?

Getting braces for the first time and choosing a color is very exciting.  But that initial excitement can soon fade when your braces start to hurt.  The mouth is a very sensitive part of the body and even the smallest of changes can be very uncomfortable.  So it’s no wonder having all these new brackets and wires in your mouth can hurt.

Person with braces painThe pain can come from your cheeks and lips rubbing against your braces or can be from your teeth moving.  This discomfort is a sign that your teeth have started to shift and realign.  The pain is caused from your teeth moving in your jaws to their new position.

It can take a few weeks to get used to your new braces and for them to become less noticeable and painful.  It can take time to learn how to talk and eat with your new braces.  You may need to avoid hard foods for the first few days until the pain has lessened.  It may be easier for you to stick to a soft diet for a while.  Eating soft foods such as pasta, yoghurt, soup and mashed potatoes can help until the pain has eased.

What To Take For Braces Pain And What Else To Do About The Discomfort

Over the counter pain medication can help alleviate some of the pain following an orthodontic appointment.  Usually whatever you normally take for a headache can help with braces pain.  Rinsing with warm salt water can help heal any wounds on yours gums, lips or cheeks.  Rinsing three times a day should also help you to heal up better.  Your orthodontist may have given you some wax for your braces.  Use this on any areas which are irritating you until it has healed.  Wax can also be purchased from pharmacies.

In summary, these are the things you can do about braces pain:

  • Take over the counter pain medication, such as ibuprofen or paracetamol
  • Apply wax to the areas which are irritating
  • Rinse with warm salt water three times a day
  • Eat a soft diet, especially if your braces are new or you’ve just had an adjustment.


Any information provided here is for educational purposes only and is not intended to substitute advice from a qualified dental professional. Only qualified dental professionals can provide an accurate diagnosis and treatment based on your specific condition. No warranty is made with the information provided here.


  1. First Impression Orthodontics says:

    Pain is probably the most common initial complaint with braces… especially children. Nice article about the subject.

    • So braces hurt more in kids?!?!?! That’s so unfair!

    • The teeth move into place within your gums thus causing pain in the position of the braces to deal with this pain Tylenol or such will be required (Dont overdose) Also another home remedy is To drink ice cold water which will numb the gums and dismember the numbness temporarily. (Disclaimer: Educational purposes only) For more info and help contact your Orthodontist

  2. Pamela Waterman (@BracesFriendly) says:

    Rinsing with salt water is terrific – when I had adult braces, I did it at least five times a day the first couple of weeks. Another trick is to drink something very cold, like a smoothie. The metal of the archwire is actually responsive to the warmth of your mouth; eating something cold temporarily slows down its movement and eases the pain. Thanks for posting these tips.

  3. I thought getting braces was so exciting when I was told I had to get them but after a hour or so they were put on they hurt! They feel so tight and the cut your mouth! They look cool but they don’t feel cool I got mine June 3 and they still bug me

  4. Anmoljot says:

    Just got braces yesterday im dieing ahh they hurt like hell ahh i hate them what can i di cause they dont irrate my mouth or lips they just hurt alottt like when i bite or talk or open my mouth i take pain killers but nothing happened i couldnt sleep what should i doo im dieing help please

  5. I have to get braces on Wednesday either the 21 or 22 of August and I am freakin out so thank you for the article and the eatin cold stuff

  6. I need to get either braces or invisaligns. could you please tell me which I should get and why. Please respond ASAP

    • If you can, go for Invisalign. The frequency that you get the new trays for your teeth to move is more frequent than adjustments for fixed orthodontics, which hurt quite a lot when you get them adjusted. I’ve got fixed orthodontics which got adjusted yesterday and they hurt SO MUCH – I got no sleep last night, haven’t eaten anything but soup and porridge and they still haven’t got any less painful. They also cause ulcers in your mouth.

      However, Invisalign are quite expensive (as you probably know) and aren’t suitable for all types of treatment. But if I were you and if I had the choice, go for Invisalign!

  7. I haven’t got my braces yet but I am getting them on the 1st of october, I am very scared but this seems like a good website to get some tips :) hope it all goes well for everyone!

  8. Braces are a disaster, I feel Im being locked in a prison cell, I cant talk properly, I get tired of talking, which makes you a less talker, its hand cufs but only they are on your teeth, the first couple of weeks I was about to loose it, but after all of that I think it worths, because having one year of hurt will give you more than fifty years of great looking teeth.

  9. When I first got my braces put on they did hurt but not too much, I didn’t take any painkiller and toughed it out, I didn’t see why everyone was making such a big deal. Now my teeth hurt SOO bad I just got them tightened yesterday and the wire is on all my teeth not just 16. And I have a power wire on my left side which they had to tighten multiple times because it wasn’t secure. I also feel like there are needles under my teeth and my teeth are really sensitive but since I got my braces on its hard to even drink water, like when I got home yesterday I drank some water and it hurt.. My teeth are really sensitive can I do anything?

  10. Hello i have just got braces yesterday and i havent slept a wink or really had any relief from the pain i have just read a few articles on pain with braces and pain releif from braces they have all said pretty much the same but the comments on this are very helpful also so i would just like to say thankyou x

  11. I’m planning on putting em on tomorrow… I wonder if I can just drink my soup with a straw…

  12. Braces can be uncomfortable when you first have them applied, but don’t fret. Discuss techniques to prevent pain with your orthodontist for the best advice. Handle your braces with care. Your oral health is important … don’t forget that!

  13. Just got my braces friday, it’s kind of hurt me so bad :( ! I just want to take them off ! I know the pain is gonna stop soon or later but just thinking that this process is gonna last a year, make me so sick ! Hope days & weeks will go fast !!

  14. Braces hurt so bad and the power chain hurts even more when I go to the nurse at school for brace pain she gives me Orajel It makes your mouth numb so you can feel any pain it really works for me.

  15. braces hurt so bad especially when the orthodontist uses power chain to close the gap. it makes your teeth feel sore and i cant eat solid food for a few days after the adjustment.

  16. I got my braces yesterday and last night I slept cause there was no pain but then I woke up with morning.. Dayum my teeth were so sensitive it’s so horrible HELp me.p I feel like just ripping it off MY TEETH ARE SO SENSITIVE I have too have fricken elatics too which make my teeth ache even more!!!!

  17. Witie Anne says:

    I just had my braces last September 30. I’m on my 1st month now. My teeth feel so tender and sore especially the crooked ones but I know that it’s worth it. No pain no gain.

  18. Hi everyone,
    Just wanted to say that I got my braces 2 days ago it freaking hurts especially the wires at the back of my braces as it rips my cheek s skin which is horrible however wax helps alot and I just want to get beautiful teeth at the end so the journey is worth it…

  19. Im getting my braces on wensday and im kinda excited..but it totaly freak me out when i read all the comments above

  20. I got mine on Feb 3rd and they hurt at first and i was so excited cause I hated my twisted tooth. After awhile they hurt worse. Its now Mar 9th my teeth dont hurt and its easier to eat. The only problem is when just one tooth hurts cause its aligning with the other teeth.

  21. I just got my top braces done my teeth is sore today

  22. Hello, I just got braces today and also my premolars also known as canine were extracted and I was on laughing gas and the shots were somewhat painful and braces are pretty painful. Not only pain, but pressure. I just feel discomfort when I ear soup and even when I talk. Hopefully I have them on for a year, then after that comes those retainers. ~ XOXO

  23. Hi
    I got my braces and they hurt like hell
    I can’t eat or talk or laugh
    The wires poke at ur cheeks and you get horrible ulcers that are horrible I wish I didn’t get them

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