No, it does not hurt to get braces on. You may feel slight discomfort when you have adjustments, but nothing unbearable. When braces are being put on, don't deliberately taste the glue that bonds your appliances; it tastes very bitter. The only thing that was remotely uncomfortable about getting braces was that they got my mouth very dry before they bonded the brackets to my teeth, by blowing cool air on my teeth with a tool. After you have the cool sensation, they used a special light to harden the glue, which was warm. For me, going from cool to warm rather quickly makes my teeth sensitive, but it's nothing horrible. If you have a bracket taken off, then they will have to buzz away the glue with a special tool, which is only slightly uncomfortable.
Th process of wearing braces can be anywhere from 1-3 years, usually. If you are a younger person, and entering phase 1, then you will have braces on longer. It depends a little bit on how old you are. Phase 1 usually occurs between the ages of 6-11, when your jaws are still growing. Phase 1 lasts about a year. This is for baby teeth that are not alligned right. If you had braces for phase 1, you will most likely have them for phase 2, usually ages 11-13. This is for straigtening adult teeth. This usually takes 1-2 years. I had something called "full TX". I did not have phase 1 or 2.....I got them on my adult teeth when I was almost 13, and they were supposed to be on for 2 years....it's now been two years and 2 months. :( In case I did the math wrong, I am almost 15. :)
You have the exact same things I had. I had a bunch of gaps, a crossbite, and a severe overbite. I have been wearing my braces for just over 2 years. My crossbite was fixed soon after getting braces, because I had an appliance that widened my upper jaw; I think it was a quad helix. My overbite was fixed by wearing elastics for 2 or 3 months, and I had these white things glued to the back of two upper teeth earlier in my treatment. I also have both top and bottom braces. You are not supposed to eat anything chewy or hard, like caramels or candy. Limit sugar intake, and limit pop. If you really want to drink pop, then drink it with a straw to keep it away from your teeth. You can eat most foods, but eating hard or sticky things can break appliances. Sugary foods can create permanent white spots on your teeth if you do not brush immediatly after. BRUSH YOUR TEETH!!! :)
I have braces.