Do Orthodontic Treatments Hurt?

Do Orthodontic Treatments Hurt?

Young woman holding mouth model with braces in one hand and an Invisalign aligner in the other

The excitement of improving your smile may rank on a scale of one to 10 as an 11, but that doesn’t mean the treatment process generates that much enthusiasm.

In fact, as you choose between Invisalign and braces, you have a great deal to consider, such as the length of treatment and your appearance throughout the process.

One primary concern is whether the treatment will cause you pain and discomfort.

We want to ease your mind and help make that decision a tad easier.

So let’s discuss the answer to “Is orthodontic treatment painful?”


In short, Invisalign is a teeth straightening method that uses a series of clear aligners to shift the teeth using gentle, consistent pressure. Unlike traditional braces, Invisalign places pressure on all the teeth simultaneously to reposition them.

Although each patient is different, clear aligners tend to be more comfortable than braces. With that said, though, this orthodontic treatment may still cause some mild soreness or discomfort.

At Chatham Orthodontics, our orthodontist frequently provides clear Invisalign. So, we see firsthand any discomfort that arises after each aligner change and stress that it usually subsides within a few days of receiving a new set.

Generally, any discomfort you feel is from the gradual shift. But, in some cases, you may feel minor irritation when the aligners come in contact with your gums or tongue.


Mainly, the foundation for today’s braces dates back to the early 1900s, with some aspects to the 1800s. Despite their long history and continuous upgrades, the issue of discomfort hasn’t disappeared completely.


Typically, the process of getting braces doesn’t cause pain. However, you may feel pressure as your orthodontist places the bands on the back molars.

After that, the provider will apply a specialized dental-grade glue to secure the brackets and connect the brackets with wires. The final step is situating the elastic bands. Fortunately, none of these steps are painful.

Braces immediately go to work moving your teeth. Thus, you may have some soreness and pain for the first few hours after the application process.

Moreover, the adjustment to the feeling of pressure on your teeth will take a bit of time, usually about a month or so.


You’ll need to visit our office every few weeks for adjustments so our practitioner can evaluate the force the braces are placing and adjust them as necessary.

Since the amount of pressure changes during these visits, you may have some soreness or pain for the first few days after each tightening.

Combating discomfort

Luckily, any pain, discomfort, or soreness is usually mild and temporary and only at specific times during the orthodontic treatment.

If you have intense pain or any discomfort or soreness that lingers for extended periods, we encourage you to contact our Chatham orthodontist. We may need to make adjustments.

Our practitioner will provide you with tips on combating any discomfort. For instance, especially when you first start with an orthodontic treatment, opt for soft foods like the following:

  • Mashed potatoes
  • Macaroni and cheese
  • Applesauce
  • Bananas
  • Berries
  • Oatmeal
  • Canned fruit
  • Yogurt
  • Ice pops
  • Ice cream

You may take acetaminophen or a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug, like ibuprofen, to stop the pain if all else fails. Never take any pain relievers without first talking to our orthodontist.

Now that you know the answer to “Is Orthodontic Treatment Painful,” we urge you to book a consultation today.

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Chatham may be our home, but residents in this city aren’t the only ones who can benefit from our services! We’re also easily accessible to those in the nearby Summit, New Providence, Berkeley Heights, Long Hill Township, Harding Township, Madison, and South Plainfield.

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Please call or text the office at (973) 701-2200 to schedule your appointment. If it is after hours and there is a dental emergency please text (973) 701-2200 and someone will get with you shortly.