How Much Do Braces Hurt On A Scale Of 1-10?

Braces are a common orthodontic treatment that many people undergo to achieve a straight and beautiful smile. While the end result is often worth it, prospective brace-wearers often wonder, “How much do braces hurt on a scale of 1-10?” In this comprehensive guide, we will delve into the various aspects of the discomfort associated with braces, sharing insights based on first-hand knowledge and credible sources.

The Basics of Braces

Before we dive into the pain aspect, let’s briefly understand what braces are and why they are necessary. Braces are orthodontic appliances designed to correct misaligned teeth and jaws. They consist of brackets, wires, and sometimes rubber bands. Brackets are bonded to your teeth, and wires are threaded through them, applying gentle pressure to move your teeth into the desired position over time.

How Much Do Braces Hurt on a Scale of 1-10

Now that we understand why braces are essential, let’s address the burning question: How much do braces hurt on a scale of 1-10?

How Much Do Braces Hurt on a Scale of 1-10

Initial Discomfort (2-4)

The first few days after getting braces can be uncomfortable. You may experience soreness and pressure on your teeth and gums. This initial discomfort typically ranks around 2 to 4 on the pain scale. It’s akin to an adjustment period as your mouth gets used to the new appliances.

Tightening Sessions (5-7)

Throughout your orthodontic journey, you will have regular appointments for adjustments. During these sessions, your orthodontist will tighten the wires and may make other modifications. This can lead to increased pressure and soreness, ranking around 5 to 7 on the pain scale. Over-the-counter pain relievers and orthodontic wax can help alleviate this discomfort.

Mouth Sores (4-6)

Braces may occasionally cause mouth sores due to friction between the brackets and your cheeks or lips. These sores typically register at around 4 to 6 on the pain scale. Rinsing your mouth with salt water and using orthodontic wax can provide relief.

Long-Term Discomfort (3-5)

As your teeth gradually shift into their desired positions, you may experience mild, ongoing discomfort, usually ranking between 3 to 5 on the pain scale. This discomfort is manageable and often becomes less noticeable as your treatment progresses.

Does It Hurt to Get Your Braces Off?

When you put your braces on, you may be concerned about how much it hurts to take them off. However, braces do not hurt as much as you think they would. You should know that they hurt at the beginning. But once you get used to them, you won’t feel them anymore. When you first start wearing your braces, you may experience some discomfort.

You may feel discomfort in your jaw, face, or neck. That’s okay. You will feel some discomfort when you first put your braces on. After you get used to them, it will become a non-issue.

Tips for Managing Braces Pain

Tips for Managing Braces Pain

Orthodontic Wax and Silicone Covers: Orthodontic wax is a handy tool to have on hand. You can apply it to the brackets and wires that are causing irritation in your mouth. Silicone covers are also available and can be placed over brackets to reduce friction and discomfort.

Pain Relievers: Over-the-counter pain relievers like ibuprofen can help manage braces pain. However, it’s essential to consult your orthodontist before using them regularly, as they may recommend alternative solutions.

Saltwater Rinses: Rinsing your mouth with warm saltwater can provide relief by soothing oral irritations and reducing inflammation. Mix a teaspoon of salt into a cup of warm water to make a solution, then swish it about in your mouth for about 30 seconds before spitting it out.

Soft Foods: Eating soft foods like applesauce and ice cream can help manage pain after a meal. Chewing gum or sucking on a frozen banana can help as well.


In conclusion, braces may cause some discomfort, but it’s usually manageable. The initial adjustment phase is the most challenging, but with proper care and guidance from your orthodontist, you can navigate it smoothly. Remember, the end result – a beautifully aligned smile – is well worth the temporary discomfort.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I eat normally with braces?

Yes, you can eat, but it’s advisable to avoid certain foods that may damage your braces. Stick to softer foods initially.

Are braces more painful for children or adults?

Pain perception is subjective, but some adults may experience more discomfort due to the matured state of their teeth and jaws.

What is the pain level on braces?

The pain level associated with braces can vary from person to person, but it’s typically described as mild to moderate. When braces are first put on or adjusted, there can be some discomfort and soreness for a few days as your teeth and mouth adjust to the pressure and movement. Over-the-counter pain relievers and orthodontic wax can help alleviate some of this discomfort.

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