Everyone wants straight teeth and the confidence of having a perfect smile so the decision to wear braces is an easy one to make. However, no one enjoys the discomfort, especially after the monthly tightening procedures that come with wearing braces. It is necessary to continue regular follow-up visits during your orthodontic treatment, for every four to six weeks so that your progress can be monitored and wires adjusted. During these visits, your brace wires can be tightened or even replaced as needed. When the wires are adjusted, there is pressure on the teeth and gums, which cause temporary pain and irritation. But thankfully there are many ways of easing tender teeth and gums.
How To Manage Dental Pain From Braces
There are many simple and effective ways of reducing pain and discomfort from adjusting braces. Here are some of our tried and tested recommendations.
Ice Pack or Cold Food and Drinks – Ice can work wonders in reducing gum swelling or soreness in your mouth. Try applying a cold pack, eat some ice-cream or suck on ice if your mouth feels sore after your braces are tightened. It reduces gum inflammation and can help relieve the pain in your mouth immensely.
Oral Rinses Or Salt Water – Sores can develop on your cheeks and gums from braces and dentists recommend swishing for just 60 seconds with warm salt water rinse to reduce any irritation and also to ease any soreness in your mouth. Having your braces adjusted can irritate your gums or cause soft tissue sensitivity. Antiseptic rinses like Listerine are useful in preventing infections and can also help in reducing swelling of the gums,
Warm Or Soft Foods – After your braces are tightened, you can resume your normal eating habits. It is likely for your gums and teeth to become more sensitive, which can make eating certain foods rather painful. So it may be wise to avoid crunchy or hard foods, such as raw vegetables and chips. You should rather choose softer foods and drinks that do not require much chewing, such as smoothies, yogurt, soups, and mashed potatoes. While cold treats like ice cream help in numbing any dental pain, having something warm like soup can be comforting and soothing too. Always brush your teeth or swish your mouth with water after eating sugary, acidic, or starchy foods, especially when wearing braces.
Massaging Your Gums – Massaging your gums with your fingers can alleviate pain, especially if your gums are swollen. Massaging the gums help to relax the soft tissues, and in the process your newly tightened braces feel a little bit more comfortable.
Mouth Guard – We know the importance of mouth guards when participating in any sports or physical activities, but they may also be beneficial in protecting the soft tissues of your mouth, especially if your brackets or wires are causing sores on your cheeks or other areas of your mouth.
Frozen Teething Rings – Teething rings are not just for teething babies. They are useful even when it comes to dealing with braces pain, as well, especially when you freeze them. Simply put a frozen teething ring in your mouth and chew on it gently in the area of your mouth that hurts most, until the pain and discomfort subsides.
Orthodontic Wax Caps – Metal brackets can scrape the lips or scratch the back of the mouth leading to painful cuts and sores. To prevent scrapes from orthodontic devices and to reduce irritation on the inside of the mouth, most orthodontists recommend using a coat of soft wax caps on any sharp pieces of metal. You will get packets of orthodontic wax at your dentists as a courtesy. You can apply the wax to your braces as often as is needed and it is harmless even if swallowed.
Over-the-Counter Painkillers – Many orthodontic patients benefit from taking over-the-counter painkillers, such as ibuprofen, aspirin, or acetaminophen. They are able to manage the pain of wearing braces without prescription-strength painkillers. You can even try an over-the-counter local anesthetic gel, such as Orabase or Orajel, to help numb the gums to reduce brace pains. Be sure to follow instructions from your dentist about proper dosage and heed all warnings whenever using any type of pain medication.
There are many methods for dealing with orthodontic pain and some methods work better than others. So experiment and work out which method is right for you. Smiles At San Tan Ranch can help gift you a beautiful, healthy smile. Your oral health is our prime concern.