When you get braces, you see that your braces have metal hooks that have pointed ends. Now, one common question that braces wearers ask is, Do braces hooks hurt?
Braces hooks hurt your teeth for a few days when elastics or coil springs are attached to them. Moreover, a hook may hurt your cheek or gums when it gets damaged or the pointed end isn’t in the right place.
However, you can get rid of braces pain easily by following some simple tricks at home.
In this article, I will discuss all reasons and solutions for braces hook hurting your teeth and mouth.
Why do braces hooks hurt?
You feel pain from the braces hook either due to the extra force that is applied to the tooth using elastic and coil springs, or pokey braces hook hurting or tearing cheek and gums.
Before you know further about braces hook, you have to know about it.
So, What is a braces hook?
Braces hook is a small metal hook of brackets or molar band that helps attach auxiliary components such as braces elastics and coil springs. Most hooks are fixed to brackets or molar bands, but some may also be removable.
But, Why do you get Braces hooks?
Braces elastics or coil springs are attached to braces hooks to move the teeth in the desired position and correct the bite. Braces hook and elastic or coil spring combination helps correct overbite, underbite, open bite, crossbite, and spaced teeth.
Now, let’s break down the causes and know why you feel pain from braces hooks.
1. Additional force
When rubber bands or coil springs are attached to the braces hook, pressure is applied to teeth and jaw bone through the hooks and brackets.
Moreover, chemical reactions occur inside the jaw bone to create a path for the teeth to move in a certain place.
Because of this, you feel pain from the hook.
2. Bumping into something
If your braces bump into something, maybe due to an accident or sports injury, it may damage the hook and lead to a painful condition.
3. Pokey braces hook
There may be pokey braces hook due to braces getting hit with something or not taking care of braces properly.
Sometimes, you may also have this issue, when the pokey end of the hook doesn’t position into a favorable place to prevent it from hurting your cheek and gum.
4. Braces hook tearing cheek
When you may have a pokey hook that’s pointed towards the cheek or gums. This may hurt your cheek and gums, even tear your cheek.
5. Bent braces hook
When braces hook gets bent because of any cause such as getting hit or an accident, it may irritate your cheek or gums.
6. Chewing hard foods
Eating hard, crunchy and sticky food is bad for braces as well as hook. When rubber bands or coil springs are attached to the hook, you feel extra pressure and pain.
Moreover, chewing that hard food will put more pressure on your teeth and you will feel a lot of pain.
These types of food also damage your braces hook.
7. Faulty toothbrushing and flossing
While wearing braces and hooks, you have to take special care when you brush and floss your teeth.
If you can’t maintain it and don’t follow the proper toothbrushing and flossing method with braces, it will be responsible for pain.
8. Damage to braces
When braces get damaged, a hook may be displaced badly and hurt your mouth.
Damage can be done due to poor tooth-cleaning techniques, wrong food habits, or sports injuries.
Also, check out what to do if the braces hook falls off.
What to do if braces hooks hurt?
Here are the things that you can do if your braces hooks hurt.
1. Rinse with lukewarm water
When your mouth or teeth hurt from those braces hook and rubber band or coil spring, you can simply rinse your mouth with your lukewarm water to ease the pain.
You can also rinse with lukewarm and saltwater if you have a cut inside your cheek from the hook.
2. Apply a cold pack
You can also reduce pain and soreness from the pressure of hook and elastic by applying a cold pack on the face over the painful part.
3. Take over-the-counter pain relievers
Usually, you don’t need to take any pain relievers to get rid of pain from the hook. However, if you feel too much pain from hook, you can take over-the-counter pain relievers.
Keep in mind that, always consult with our orthodontist before taking any medicine.
4. Eat soft and liquid foods
You have to eat braces-friendly with braces on teeth, but you might need to be more aware if you feel pain from braces hooks.
If you feel a lot of pain, you can take liquid or softer food to stop it from hurting.
However, if your cheek or gum has been cut from pokey hook, you can avoid spicy foods for a few days to let it heal.
5. Apply orthodontic wax
When braces hook poke and hurt your cheek or gums, put a piece of dental wax to cover the pointed end of the hook. This will reduce pain.
6. Use a lip protector
You can also use a lip protector or lip shield for braces if the hook is hurting you.
It helps protect your cheek from the sharp edge of orthodontic hooks and wires.
However, be sure to get the best lip protector for your braces.
7. Don’t stop wearing elastic bands
When you have soreness from rubber bands, coil springs, and hooks, you may decide not to wear the bands regularly. This will make the pain worse.
So, what you have to do is keep rubber bands or coil springs attached to the orthodontic hook as much as possible, even with the pain.
The reason for that is your mouth and teeth will get used to it fast and pain will be reduced.
Moreover, it will help complete the treatment fast.
8. Brush and floss your tooth carefully
When your pain is from the hook, you may cause more pain when you brush your teeth.
So, you should be gentle when you clean your teeth and don’t let them hurt you more.
However, you have to be aware so that you brush and floss properly to get rid of food debris and plaque.
What to do if braces hooks tear cheek?
Here the are things that you can do if your braces hooks tear your cheek.
Put orthodontic wax
To prevent the braces hook from tearing your cheek, apply a small portion of dental wax on the hook. This will make the end smooth and comfortable for your cheek.
Rinse with lukewarm water
If your cheek hurt from pokey hooks, you can rinse with lukewarm and saltwater. This helps reduces the pain and heal the cut fast.
Rinse cold water
You can also hold mild cold water on the affected side of your mouth or rinse with it to relieve the pain.
Wear a lip protector
Lip protectors can also help you prevent cheek tearing from the hook.
Avoid spicy foods
You can also stay away from spicy food if your mouth is already torn, as spicy food will burn your cut area and increase the pain.
How to prevent braces hooks from hurting?
If you have no pain from the braces hook now, you might also want to know how to prevent it from happening in the future.
So, here is the ways how you can prevent braces hook from hurting.
1. Prevent injury or bump
First of all, try your best to avoid any injury or bump to braces and hooks at any cost. With braces and hooks and teeth, it will make the situation worse.
Take a proper measurement, when there is a chance of having an injury to the mouth.
2. Eat braces-friendly foods
Always, choose the right foods for your braces and hook. As rubber bands attached to the hook cause pressure on your teeth, don’t chew hard foods. Otherwise, it will trigger pain.
3. Use dental wax if the hook is poking
If you find that braces hooks are poking your cheek or gum and you can’t fix it at home, you can put an orthodontic wax on it. This will prevent it from hurting your mouth and causing any serious problem.
4. Use a lip protector
After getting the braces to hook, you can use a lip shield or protector to prevent the hook from hurting inside your mouth.
5. Wear a mouthguard during sports
Even if you don’t wear a lip protector, you should wear a mouthguard during sports or activities where there is a risk of getting hit in your mouth or falling on teeth.
6. Follow proper toothbrushing and flossing technique
Avoid hooks from getting hit by the toothbrush or floss. So, learn the right method of tooth cleaning with braces, hooks, and rubber bands or coil springs.
7. Having brackets placed properly
When your orthodontist places the brackets, he checks the hook properly and sees if the hook pokes your cheek or gums.
If there is an issue, he bends the hook and places the pointed end to a favorable position so that it doesn’t hurt your mouth.
What you need to do is to recheck if any portion of the braces is poking or hurting the mouth. If it hurts, inform your orthodontist before leaving his office, and he will fix it.
Braces hooks hurt your teeth because of additional pressure on teeth from the rubber bands or coil springs attached to them. However, you can get rid of this pain by rinsing with lukewarm water or taking an over-the-counter pain reliever.
A poking hook can also hurt your cheek or gums. To prevent getting hurt, you can put a small piece of dental wax on the hook, or use lip protectors.