Making the decision to get braces can change your life. When your treatment is done, you will be left with a more beautiful, straighter smile than you ever imagined. Of course, to get to the finish line, you are going to have to run the race – and, with braces, that means you could have to deal with some discomfort.
Not to worry, though – we’ve got 4 ways to relieve braces discomfort.
When you initially get your braces on and when you have your periodic adjustments (often every few weeks), it is not uncommon to experience some inflammation, tooth sensitivity, and some minor bleeding. This may stick around for a few hours – or even a few days. It depends on the patient.
It is important to note that this is temporary. For example, if your braces treatment timeline is about 18 months, you are not going to experience discomfort for a solid 18 months. Once your teeth get over the initial shock of the tightening appointment, they will calm down and any discomfort you have will dissipate.
In the meantime, there are things you can do to manage pain from your braces.
1. Swish Your Mouth with Salt Water
Because you have metal wires and brackets pressing up against the soft inside area of your cheeks, it is not uncommon to develop sores or abrasions. With adjustment appointments, the gums can become inflamed, too. Swishing your mouth with salt water can help all of this.
Mix salt and warm water, and swish around your mouth for about one minute. Doing this a couple of times per day can help to relieve your pain and help heal your mouth.
2. Apply Ice Packs
Just as you would apply ice to an ailing ankle or a bump on your head, you can use it to help reduce inflammation in your mouth – and ultimately reduce the pain. Apply a cold ice pack to the area where the pain is most greatly felt.
No ice pack? No problem. If you are out and about and an ice pack is not an ideal option, you can find some relief in eating or drinking something that is cold. An ice cube, ice water, a popsicle, and ice cream can all help to numb the mouth and help you to feel better.
3. Try Orthodontic Wax
As the metal brackets of the braces brush up against the inside of the cheeks or lips, it can cause irritation and, in turn, discomfort to the area. You can address problem areas with orthodontic wax. This soft wax can be gently placed over the braces and it provides a smoother surface to brush up against. We will provide wax for you when your braces are initially placed, and you are always welcome to ask us for more!
4. Over-the-Counter Pain Reliever
While it may not be your go-to option for minimizing pain and discomfort throughout your braces treatment, taking an over-the-counter pain reliever can be very beneficial. Acetaminophen and ibuprofen can often provide some relief. You will want to discuss with your orthodontist which one would be the better choice and what the dosage should be.
Another over-the-counter pain reliever is an oral anesthetic – Orajel being the most commonly known brand. This gets applied directly to the bothersome area and helps to desensitize it.
Orthodontist Dr. Suzanne Stock provides beautifully straight smiles for children and adults in Iowa. With four convenient office locations, you are sure to find appointments easy – and results stunning.
To learn more or to schedule a consultation, contact us today. Or, request an appointment online.