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.
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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.Schedule Appointment