My Braces Hurt So Bad I Want to Cry: Painful Journey

My Braces Hurt So Bad I Want to Cry

Braces, the metal marvels designed to straighten our smiles, often bring both the promise of a perfect grin and the challenge of enduring discomfort. If you’ve found yourself saying, “My braces hurt so bad I want to cry,” you’re not alone.

In this article, we’ll delve into the emotional and physical rollercoaster that comes with braces, exploring ways to cope with the pain and finding light at the end of the orthodontic tunnel.

The Initial Discomfort

The journey typically begins with the placement of braces, an exciting yet uneasy moment. As the orthodontist meticulously attaches the brackets and wires to your teeth, you may experience some initial soreness.

It’s common to feel discomfort in the hours and days following this procedure, as your mouth adjusts to the foreign objects now residing on your teeth.

The Early Days: A Symphony of Aches

In the first week, you might find that every movement of your jaw brings a symphony of aches. Soft foods become your best friends as you navigate the challenge of chewing without exacerbating the pain. During this phase, it’s crucial to remember that the initial discomfort is temporary and is a sign that your braces are doing their job – reshaping your smile.

Coping Strategies

  • Over-the-Counter Pain Relief

Over-the-counter pain relievers such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen can be effective in managing braces-related discomfort. Always consult with your orthodontist or healthcare professional before taking any medication.

  • Orthodontic Wax

If your braces are causing irritation by rubbing against the inside of your cheeks or lips, orthodontic wax can be a lifesaver. Applying a small amount to the problem areas creates a protective barrier, reducing friction and alleviating pain.

  • Cold Compress

A cold compress can help reduce inflammation and numb the pain. Simply apply it to the outside of your cheek for 15-20 minutes, providing relief from the throbbing sensation.

  • Saltwater Rinse

Swishing with a warm saltwater solution can aid in soothing sore gums and minimizing oral irritation. Mix a teaspoon of salt in a glass of warm water and rinse your mouth gently.

Mid-Journey Revelations

As the weeks go by, you might notice that the pain subsides, only to return when adjustments are made during your orthodontic appointments. These adjustments are a crucial part of the process, fine-tuning your braces for optimal effectiveness. Remember, each tweak brings you one step closer to that perfect smile.

Emotional Toll: It’s Okay to Cry

It’s important to acknowledge the emotional toll braces can take. Beyond the physical discomfort, the journey may stir up feelings of frustration, self-consciousness, and even the occasional desire to shed tears. Rest assured, it’s perfectly normal to feel this way.

Finding Support

  • Connect with Others

Reach out to friends, family, or online communities where individuals share their orthodontic experiences. Sharing stories and coping strategies can be both comforting and empowering.

  • Communicate with Your Orthodontist

Don’t hesitate to communicate openly with your orthodontist about your discomfort and emotions. They can provide insights, adjust treatment plans if necessary, and offer support to make your journey more manageable.

Light at the End of the Tunnel

As time passes, you’ll begin to notice positive changes in your smile, making the journey worthwhile. The discomfort that once seemed insurmountable becomes a distant memory as you embrace the transformation happening within your mouth.


In the midst of the braces-induced pain, it’s crucial to remember that you’re not alone in your journey. Many have faced the same challenges and emerged with beautiful, straight smiles. The pain may make you want to cry now, but as you persevere, you’ll find yourself smiling – not just because of the braces, but because of the newfound confidence and pride in your transformed smile. So, brace yourself for the journey, endure the discomfort, and soon, the tears will be replaced with joy and satisfaction.

Written by Amy Fischer

Amy, a registered dietitian at the Good Housekeeping Institute's Nutrition Lab, brings a wealth of expertise to nutrition, health content, and product testing. With a journalism degree from Miami University of Ohio and a master's in clinical nutrition from NYU, she's a versatile expert. Prior to joining Good Housekeeping, Amy worked as a cardiac transplant dietitian at a prominent NYC hospital and contributed to clinical nutrition textbooks. Her background also includes PR and marketing work with food startups.

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