Mouth sores (also called “canker sores”) are common. These small ulcers could be white or red and cause minor pain or discomfort. They are usually caused by accidentally biting your lip or the sides of your mouth, brushing too hard, sustaining a mouth trauma, or by eating acidic foods, including lemons, pineapples, and tomatoes, which can trigger a sore in certain individuals.
Braces also commonly cause canker sores due to the metal brackets and wires chafing the inside of the wearer’s mouth. This means that for orthodontic patients, these common but irritating sores are a regular annoyance, one that could become a more serious health issue if left untreated. Continue reading to learn how to treat mouth sources caused by your braces.
Want to find out if you or your child needs braces? Visit Reese Orthodontics in Charleston, SC for leading orthodontic care.
How Long Do Mouth Sores Last?
Mouth sores commonly heal on their own. However, some can last weeks, especially if the trigger is repeated. This isn’t as much of a concern if the sores happened by eating acidic or spicy foods or by biting your lip or cheek, since these triggers are avoidable.
However, braces are in your mouth all the time. In rare cases, a bad canker sore can become permanent, resulting in scar tissue in the mucous membrane of your mouth and causing pain that makes it difficult to drink or eat.
While this is not common, mouth sores are annoying and painful even in their mildest form. It’s important to identify and treat mouth sores quickly if you want them to heal.
4 Ways to Treat Mouth Sores
There are several easy methods you can use to treat mouth sores caused by your braces. We assembled the four most useful ones:
1. Saltwater rinse
Salt is an amazing mineral when used topically as it can both disinfect and reduce inflammation in wounds like mouth sores. After mixing a tablespoon of salt in a glass, rinse with the warm water a few times a day. The relief should be immediate as the salt not only takes the edge off your pain but quickens the healing process as well.
2. Use orthodontic products
Your orthodontist or pharmacy will offer several products that can help you deal with the pain of mouth sores. One of them is a silicon cover. These covers shield your lips and cheeks from the edges of your brackets, helping you to prevent sores as well as prevent those that have already formed from getting worse. Remember that silicon covers should only be applied to dry braces.
Another available product is called orthodontic wax. This sticky, waterproof wax can be sculpted around your brackets to buffer your lips from your braces. This is especially useful for instrument players who want to reduce the pressure of their braces when they play.
Hydrating is important for healing and oral health, no matter what. However, it poses additional importance for those with mouth sores because of braces. Hydrating properly allows you to produce a healthy amount of saliva. Saliva contains antibodies that prevent mouth sores from spreading and encourage healing.
4. Diet changes
Spicy or acidic foods can cause mouth sores. The same foods can also aggravate sores further. Even foods that are hard or fibrous and require more mouth movement to chew can cause friction between your braces and lips that makes the sores worse.
Switching to a diet of soft, simple foods can give mouth sores a better chance to heal. These foods include scrambled eggs and shakes, as well as anything that you can eat without too much chewing.
What Do I Do If I’m Still in Pain?
The above advice is not a set of solutions for mouth sores, though these changes can help prevent them and make the ones you have easier to manage. If your mouth sores are caused by your braces, you don’t have to suffer! Talk with your orthodontist about it.
If the brackets or wire can be changed to prevent them from injuring your lip, your orthodontist may be able to help. They can also give you advice on lifestyle changes to improve your situation and point you to products that could help with the problem.
Choose Reese Orthodontics
If you’re an adult who is considering braces, you need professional advice on your treatment and payment options. For orthodontic treatments in Charleston, SC, Reese Orthodontics offers the latest technology and treatment plans. We can customize our advanced and comfortable orthodontic treatments to suit your needs. A consultation with Reese Orthodontics includes scans, a comprehensive exam, and a conversation with the orthodontist to discover which treatment options are right for you.
Schedule an appointment with us today to stay ahead of your oral health and receive the best possible treatment in your area.Schedule Appointment