Braces are the most common way to correct overcrowding and crooked teeth, but the process can cause pain and tenderness. When you go to the orthodontist for your monthly appointment, they may replace the wires between your brackets, place or tighten springs, or tighten the bands on the brackets. All of these processes can cause you to have inflamed gums or scrapes or sores on the inside of your cheeks. Luckily, there are lots of ways to relieve the pain and turn that frown upside down! Here are six things to try to reduce pain caused by braces.
Orthodontic wax is useful for preventing cuts, scrapes, and pain caused by braces. Most orthodontists will provide you with some when you first get your braces, but if you run out, you can buy some at many different drugstores. The wax is soft, clear, and safe for use inside the mouth.
No matter what type of braces you have, if your brackets, wires, or other implements are sticking out and causing irritation, you can apply a small amount of wax to them to prevent further issues. Before applying wax, make sure you brush your teeth and wash your hands so that no bacteria gets trapped under the wax. Next, get a piece of wax and warm it up by rolling it in your hands for a few seconds. Finally, place the wax on the part of your braces that is causing irritation.
Once the wax is in place, your mouth will have a chance to heal any abrasions without further risk of damage. Just make sure you remove the wax before you eat! If your wax isn’t staying in place, try drying the area with a tissue or paper towel before you place the wax.
Taking over-the-counter pain medication such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen before and after visiting the orthodontist can help reduce oral pain caused by braces. These medications are available under many different brand names, and it may take a bit of experimenting to find the one that is the best for you. Whatever medication you choose, make sure you follow the instructions on the package so you get the correct dosage.
There are many different oral anesthetics available at drug stores without a prescription. They usually come as a gel that you apply to painful areas in your mouth. These anesthetics produce a numbing sensation in the mouth and decrease sensitivity and can relieve pain caused by braces.
Warm Salt Water
This treatment utilizes household items, so you don’t have to make a trip to the drugstore. Although it may taste bad, rinsing your mouth with salt water has proven to reduce gum inflammation and irritation. All you need to do is dissolve a pinch of salt in a cup of warm water, then swish and gargle.
Saltwater rinses aren’t just for people with braces! Following these steps can also help with pain caused by lost teeth, sore throats, and canker sores.
A great way to reduce oral pain is to use an ice pack. Ice is known to reduce pain by targeting inflammation and swelling. You can apply an ice cube directly to the affected area inside your mouth or hold an ice pack to your face. However, you shouldn’t chew on ice, since it can damage your braces and cause further irritation.
Another way to use the power of ice to relieve pain is to eat a cold treat! Ice cream can also relieve oral pain. However, you should always brush and floss your teeth after eating sugary foods to prevent plaque buildup and cavities, especially if you have braces.
Good Dental Hygiene
Dental hygiene is always important, but is especially crucial when you have braces. Food and bacteria can easily get trapped in all the little nooks and crannies of your mouth, causing plaque and tartar buildup, which can irritate your gums and cause infection.
Follow your orthodontist’s advice on dental hygiene and make sure you brush and floss your teeth regularly!
Braces at Pobanz Orthodontics
Do you need braces or other orthodontic treatments? At Pobanz Orthodontics, we pride ourselves on using the best orthodontic technology and are committed to helping you become the best version of yourself. Schedule a free consultation today and see what a difference we can make in your life! Braces can be tricky, but we’re here to guide you through the process and make it as pain-free as possible. It’s a long process, but it’ll all be worth it when you get to see your new smile.