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Same-Day Starts, Braces, and Consultations Available!

Your Top-Rated Orthodontist in
Charleston, SC, For Braces & Invisalign

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Braces don’t generally cause pain. The force they exert on your teeth is so constant that you or your child will get used to any discomfort they might cause. However, when your braces are first applied and then tightened by your orthodontist at subsequent appointments, they can cause soreness. Since follow-up visits occur around every 4-6 weeks and are essential to monitoring your progress, you need to know how to cope with any discomfort they may cause. Read on to learn some strategies on how to help relieve braces pain.

Want to find out if you or your child needs braces? Visit Reese Orthodontics in Charleston, SC for leading orthodontic care.

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Take Pain Medications

Over-the-counter (OTC) medicines can treat pain, irritation, and inflammation as you need them. If you or your child frequently experiences discomfort related to your follow-up appointments, you can take painkillers before your visit to ease the burden.

However, OTC pain medicines, especially NSAIDs, are not intended for long-term use. Make sure you carefully read the bottle to find out how frequently you should take them. Rather than push that limit, contact your orthodontist if the pain persists. They can adjust your braces or recommend other strategies to give you some relief.

Numb Your Mouth

If the tightness of your braces causes inflammation, you can use an ice pack or even a glass of ice water to find some relief. The numbing effect should help you temporarily manage the pain.

By the same token, oral anesthetics like Orajel can numb your teeth and gums and temporarily relieve discomfort. You can use a swab or a clean finger to apply a dab of the gel to the parts of your mouth that hurt.

Change Your Diet

Your diet could be rough on your adjusting teeth, especially if it includes hard candies, overly fibrous foods, crunchy foods, or anything sticky like gum. If you experience discomfort after your tightening, you can minimize discomfort by relying on softer foods like cereal and soup. Every adjustment period is different, but diet changes can help you relieve this stress for as long as you need.

Try a Salt Rinse

Many orthodontists recommend a rinse of warm salt water to help with the pain, especially if you have any sores or inflammation in your mouth. While ice water can be comfortably numbing, warm water can soothe and cleanse affected areas.

Use about ½ a teaspoon of salt in a glass of warm water. Rinse with it for a few seconds and spit it out. This should alleviate minor discomfort.

Ask For Orthodontic Wax

You can ask your orthodontist for wax, though they will likely send it home with you from your appointment. This wax protects your lips and gums from the braces by smoothing off the harder edges of the brackets and wires.

Don’t wear the wax while you eat, but don’t worry if you swallow a little. Orthodontic wax is non-toxic and safe to wear as often as you need.

Try a Gum Massage

This may sound strange, but if your gums feel irritated or inflamed, you may simply be able to rub them to ease discomfort. Use your finger to make gentle circular motions until your gums feel less swollen. You can prep them with a little ice beforehand to maximize the effect of the massage.

Maintain Good Hygiene

Dental hygiene has even more rules to keep track of when you have braces. Maintaining good hygiene will keep inflammation and decay away, which can help you get through your braces with fewer problems. If you brush and floss regularly, you won’t have as much irritation when your braces are moved or tightened.

Since braces obstruct your ability to use normal floss, make sure you get threaders from your orthodontist that you can use to loop the floss under the wire. Ask them if you need help learning how to do it. Maintaining good oral hygiene is important when it comes to learning how to help relieve braces pain. We strongly suggest using a waterpik to help clean food out of your braces.

Choose Reese Orthodontics

For orthodontic care in Charleston, SC, Reese Orthodontics offers the latest technology and treatment options. Our advanced and comfortable treatments can be customized to suit your needs. A consultation with Reese Orthodontics includes scans, a comprehensive exam, and a conversation with the orthodontist to discover which options are right for you. 

Schedule an appointment with us today to stay ahead of your oral health and receive the best possible care in your area.

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Easy Ways To Get Started

If you want to learn more about our orthodontic practice - where we offer extensive experience with a Board Certified Orthodontist, where we offer a satisfaction guarantee, and where we offer flexible payment options - Reese Orthodontics is here to serve you.

"Dr. Reese and staff share an inviting personality with a clean and professional atmosphere. I am very happy with the service, the product and the final result. I would encourage any of my friends and family to consult with Dr. Reese around their Orthodontic needs."
- Austin H.
"It has been a great experience all around getting braces at Dr. Reese Orthodontics. It's a great office with wonderful and friendly staff. I am extremely happy with the results. Can't say enough good things about Dr. Reese and his staff. I highly recommend him!"
- Nicole S.
"Dr. Reese and his staff was referred to me by a friend, and I highly recommend them! They were friendly, professional, helpful and quick to respond. I could not be happier with the results of Invisalign. I wore them about 7 months and my teeth are as straight as can be. Thank you for the great care and results!"
- Dancy E.
"I chose the absolute perfect orthodontist to perfect my smile. Dr. Reese has a personality that calms you and removes the anxiety that may come with the process. Dr. Reese is a true artist. I am so excited with my new smile. Dr. Reese accomplished the goals I was looking for and I am forever grateful. Thank you Dr. Reese!!!"
- Melanie C.
"Just awesome! Dr. Reese is the one to go to. He knows what he's doing and is great at what he does. Makes you feel like family every time you go visit. I can't get over how great my smile looks now. Definitely recommended."
- Harsha P.
*The reviews listed are from actual patients of Reese Orthodontics.
Individual results may vary. Reviews are not claimed to represent results for everyone.
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Our Charleston
Orthodontic Office

2057 Charlie Hall Blvd. STE D
Charleston, SC 29414


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Monday - Thursday: 8:00AM - 5:00PM

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Dr. Reese McElveen, our award-winning orthodontist in Charleston, South Carolina has transformed the smiles of over 11,000 patients. Reese Orthodontics offers the most advanced orthodontic care for children and adults. Types of braces and orthodontic treatment include metal braces, clear braces, gold braces, Invisalign, Invisalign Teen, Damon Braces, SureSmile. Dr. Reese can even help you achieve your confident smile faster with AcceleDent.

Call 843.573.7279 today to schedule your appointment with our board certified orthodontist in Charleston, SC, at our conveniently located Charleston orthodontic office. Come experience Reese Orthodontics and you will see for yourself that we offer innovative and effective orthodontic care in Charleston, Downtown Charleston, West Ashley, James Island, Mount Pleasant, North Charleston, Johns Island, Goose Creek, Hanahan and Ladson, South Carolina (SC).