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10 Tips for Braces Pain Relief

Pain and discomfort are perhaps the biggest fear of getting braces. You may feel some ache or uneasiness right after the orthodontist puts on the braces and when the wires are tightened. Your teeth and gums may hurt afterward, but the good thing is that it is not as bad as it sounds, and you do not have to suffer constant pain while wearing braces. With a bit of knowledge and care, you can manage the pain and prevent it from affecting your routine life, dental hygiene, and orthodontic treatment. Call Gibbs Orthodontic Associates to learn more about braces pain relief tips from the top orthodontists in New York

Many people think that braces are very painful, but it is essential to know that getting braces does not really hurt or cause pain. It is the pressure from the newly placed equipment which may result in mouth pain or the new brackets that may rub or irritate the inside of the mouth, causing chaffing and possible cuts.

There is no doubt that pain can be a big annoyance and even misery for anyone going through the orthodontic treatment, especially in the initial days or when the orthodontist tightens the bands every six weeks or so as needed. As you are dealing with bones and teeth repositioning, some pain and pressure are expected. The good news is that there are several ways to relieve the pain.

If you are looking for ways to alleviate braces pain, there are various treatments and remedies to help you feel better.  Here are the top 10 braces pain relief tips for easing discomfort you should start implementing right now.

10 tips for braces pain relief

Rub oral anesthetic

Rubbing an oral anesthetic directly on the sensitive teeth and gums is the simplest as well as the most effective way to seek relief from the pain and discomfort caused by braces.

The anesthetic will desensitize or numb the teeth and gums, and you will not feel the uneasiness of shifting teeth as much.

You can apply the anesthetic either with your finger or a cotton swab. Get any over-the-counter oral anesthetic or ask your orthodontist to recommend one.

Take a pain reliever

You can also take an over-the-counter pain reliever to alleviate the discomfort. However, it is essential to remember that the medication will only ease the pain or discomfort for the time being. It will not eliminate the root problem.

You may feel the pain returning after a few hours as its effects wear off. Stick to the recommended dosage as provided on the medicine to avoid complications, and consult your doctor if the pain persists or becomes intolerable.

Also if you always experience some pain after an orthodontic appointment when the wires are tightened or adjusted, it is better to take the pain relieving medication at least an hour before the appointment. It will keep the pain down, and you will feel less discomfort during and after the dental visit.

Use an ice pack

An ice pack can reduce inflammation and sores caused by braces. The ice will numb your mouth, and you will not feel the pain. Keep the ice pack outside your mouth, and it will provide some relief.

Do not put ice directly on the skin. Wrap it in a cloth or thin towel as needed and apply it with slight pressure onto the affected for about 10 to 20 minutes. You can repeat it as often as needed. The cold can genuinely soothe the pain and make you feel better.

Drink cold water or beverages

If you do not have access to an ice pack or your skin is too sensitive to keep an ice pack, drinking a glass of ice cold water may help you feel better.

A glass of ice water can numb your mouth enough to relieve some of the pain and discomfort you are going through. Swishing ice water around the mouth is also a great way to refresh yourself after a tiring day at the orthodontist.

You can also enjoy frozen beverages like smoothies and shakes or even yogurt and ice cream to reduce inflammation and pain, but make sure to avoid too many sugary items.

Only consume soft foods

Eating with traditional wire braces can be challenging and leave your mouth sore. It is best to consume soft foods that do not put further pressure on the braces. Begin with soups, yogurt, mashed potatoes, smoothies, soft rice, etc. as they are easy to chew, provide the necessary nourishment, and do not irritate the braces. Follow the guidelines for what is and is not acceptable to eat and drink with braces to avoid problems later on.

The orthodontist will advise you to stay away from crunchy foods right after each tightening as your mouth is most sensitive at this time. Biting or chewing anything hard, crunchy, or chewy can irritate the braces and result in inflammation. This inflammation can cause serious discomfort when anything rubs up against it.

Eating chips, raw vegetables, caramels, hard candy, and gum may hurt your jaws, gums, lips, and teeth and even displace your braces or affect the treatment results.

Even if you are choosing clear aligners and don’t have to worry about wire straitening, you still have to go through the adjustment period with a new set of aligners after some time. Be kind to yourself during this time and stick to softer foods.

Use orthodontic wax

Orthodontic wax is another way to relieve braces pain successfully. The orthodontist may recommend using it to create a comfortable barrier between the brackets of the braces and surrounding areas of the mouth.

As the metal of the brackets rubs against the inside of the cheeks and gums, it leads to:

  • Sores
  • Scratches
  • Cuts
  • General irritation

Orthodontic wax works its magic by coating the metal. It creates a protective shield between the sharp metal and soft mouth, preventing any damage and uneasiness.

The wax is molded over the brackets that are causing pain or irritation. It is non-toxic, medicated wax, so you don’t have to worry about swallowing it but make sure to take it off before brushing your teeth. Reapply the wax after eating or brushing your teeth. Follow the orthodontist’s guidelines on using the wax for best results.

Rinse your mouth with warm water

Warm water helps to ease sore or achy bodies. You can use it for combating some of the pain associated with wearing braces. Rinse your mouth with warm salt water to soothe the gums, teeth, and overall mouth once the braces have been fitted.

It can heal any sores or cuts in your mouth and the gums or reduce the irritation caused by the newly placed brackets and wires. Repeat as needed to keep the uneasiness down.

As teeth are being straightened, your jaw may feel sore. You can use heating pads to relieve the oral pain. Just hold the heating pad against the area, and it will ease the discomfort.

Massage your gums gently

Massaging your gums gently with fingertips in a repetitive motion can lessen the braces pain. It can alleviate the soreness and make you feel better.

Make sure to focus on your gums and avoid rubbing the inner mouth with the sides of the brackets, wires, or other hardware while massaging.

For full effect, try rubbing your gums with an ice cube before massaging them. However, only do this long enough to relax or loosen up the swollen gums.

Practice good dental hygiene

Dental hygiene can play a significant role in preventing pain and discomfort caused by braces or any other oral issues. How well you take care of your teeth and braces can make a difference in how much uneasiness you go through.

Make sure to brush, floss, and clean the teeth and braces as well as you can to ward off tooth decay and gum inflammation after eating.

Food particles can get stuck on the brackets and wires, so make sure to clean them well. Be gentle but thorough if your teeth and gums are already sensitive. Brush the surrounding areas of the braces and use good quality mouth wash for a fresh, healthy mouth.

Read more: Top Tips on How to Floss With Braces

Keep patience

It is probably the most crucial tip for getting through this time. Keep your overall goal in mind, follow the specialist’s advice, be patient, and you will start seeing results in a few weeks. Getting healthier, properly aligned teeth and a beautiful smile is no longer a dream but it takes some time and effort to achieve the desired outcomes.

In most cases, the pain and discomfort only last for a few days and begin to lessen within a short time. Becoming used to the new hardware should be the objective for the first month, as well as after getting the braces tightened. If you continue to feel troublesome pain and do not find relief with the given tips, call your orthodontist and schedule an appointment.

Even though they may take time and cause a little discomfort, braces are worth the wait and pain. Instead of focusing on the pain, find something productive that takes your mind away from the pressure and helps you feel better. Choosing the right orthodontist can help to manage your pain and make the whole teeth straightening process easy.

Dr. Eric gibbs
Dr. Eric gibbs

Visit Gibbs Orthodontic Associates for high quality orthodontic care and reliable solutions for your complex dental issues and braces pain.  Dr. Gibbs is a highly experienced and board-certified orthodontist and knows all about the distress and uneasiness the patients go through when they get braces for the first time.

Dr. Eric Gibbs can help you take good care of your braces, adjust to the new devices and recommend the best tips for keeping the pain down.

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