Braces will give you a straighter, beautiful smile but it comes with its share of pain and discomfort. While it doesn’t last throughout the treatment, the first few days will be especially painful. It is equally important that you care for them properly. The better you take care of braces for teeth, the more effective they will be and quicker you can take them off.
9 Ways to Relieve Braces Pain
- Apply Oral Anesthetic
Use an oral anesthetic directly on the teeth and gums to relieve braces pain. You can apply the anesthetic using your finger or a cotton swab.
The anesthetic will desensitize the teeth and gums. You won’t feel the discomfort of the shifting teeth. Do not swallow the anesthetic unless it is instructed to do so.
- Take Painkillers
Over-the-counter pain medications can help in reducing inflammation and pain that comes with new braces.
Make sure you take the medication as recommended on the bottle. If you are already on some medication, ask the pharmacist if the painkillers will interact with the medication you are taking.
- Use Orthodontic Wax
Orthodontic wax is a firm, stretchy wax that you can apply to the metal segments of the braces. It protects the insides of the cheeks, lips and the gums from the brackets of the braces. The wax creates a barrier and reduces the rubbing and friction against the sensitive parts of your mouth.
It is a non-toxic wax, so it won’t cause any problem even if you accidentally swallow some of it. Apply near the painful areas and remember to take off the wax before you brush your teeth.
- Rinse with Warm Salt Water
Rinsing your mouth with warm salt water helps in healing sores, cuts or wounds in the mouth. It also eases the pain caused by shifting teeth. Rinsing three times a day is recommended.
- Use Ice or an Icepack
One of the biggest braces problems is inflammation and swelling of gums. Using ice or icepack reduces gum inflammation and numbs the mouth. As a result, you won’t experience any pain or discomfort.
Suck on an ice cube, drink a glass of cold water or eat an ice-cream to get some braces pain relief. You can also put an ice pack over the cheeks to reduce the pain.
- Eat Soft Food
Avoid eating hard and crunchy foods when you get braces for gapped teeth. Such foods put extra pressure on the teeth to chew which increases the pain. It may also break the metal brackets of the braces.
Put off solid foods for the first few days after getting the braces. Stick to a liquid diet and softer foods. It is advisable to chew as softly as you can to reduce friction. Your mouth will need an adjustment period with the braces; don’t make it more painful by eating restricted foods.
- Get a Softer Toothbrush
Switch to a softer toothbrush when you get your braces on. Stiffer toothbrushes are more effective in removing plaque and tartar but their stiff bristles will be rough on a sore mouth.
A softer brush will be gentle on the gums and it will be easier for you to remove food particles from around the brackets and wires.
- Use Toothpaste for Sensitive Teeth
If the pain doesn’t subside after a few days, start using a toothpaste that is specifically formulated for sensitive teeth. It will relieve pain in the jaw and the teeth. Use the toothpaste until your mouth has fully adjusted to the braces.
- Distract Yourself
Dealing with braces may be quite painful but remember that it is only temporary. Try to distract yourself from the pain and focus on something else. Keeping yourself busy with some task or another will take your mind off the pain. Give your mouth a few days to ride out the braces pain. Once your mouth starts adjusting to the braces, you will get more comfortable.
The importance of braces maintenance cannot be undermined if you want a faster, effective treatment. It is common for pain to persist for the first few days but if the pain is severe, book an appointment with Thurman Orthodontics to understand the root cause of the pain. You can also track the progress of your treatment with the orthodontist.
About Emily Taylor
Emily Taylor found the perfect fit for herself as the Online Marketing Manager at Thurman Orthodontics in Fresno CA as she believes that a great smile does more than just make a person look great – it makes them feel great as well. The power of a smile has always been a mystery to Emily and she loves researching and writing about it. She loves to write about everything to do with a healthy bite and a beautiful smile – whether is it ways to achieve it or the importance of it in the various aspects of life. What brings a big smile on Emily’s face is her family and surfing. She also likes to bake and her children and co-workers call her the cookie fairy!