Having braces may be considered a rite of passage for many people, but you may have many questions regarding the process.
The first question asked is often “Do braces hurt?” While the actual process of having braces put on is usually painless, there is minor pain and discomfort in the following days due to shifting teeth and friction from new hardware. Although this discomfort should only last a few days, there are remedies to help you deal with braces pain.
Pain Relief Medication
Taking preventative measures may be one of the easiest ways to deal with braces pain. Bring ibuprofen to your adjustment appointment so you can take it before the pain becomes too intense. Speak with your doctor about the correct dosage and take only as needed.
Use Cold Therapy
An ice cream, Popsicle, or Italian ice will sooth an aching mouth. The coldness of the treat will reduce inflammation and swelling.
If you opted for the traditional metal or clear braces, you may find that a bracket or wire pokes the inside of your cheek or gum. The orthodontic wax acts as a protective barrier between any offending bracket or wire. To use the wax:
- Break off a small piece and roll it into a ball
- Press the wax over the bracket that is causing irritation
- Remove wax before eating and brushing
Use a Rinse
Rinse your mouth with either a salt water solution or OTC rinse.
- Dilute 1/2 teaspoon of salt in warm water. While salt water may not remove pain as quickly as a cold ice cream, salt water will speed up the healing of any irritated spots or cuts. Keeping any cuts or irritated spots clean will help prevent infection and heal the mouth quickly.
- OTC rinses such as Listerine or Pro-Health will also prevent infections and painful inflammation.
Eat Soft Foods
After an adjustment, few things may ache like taking a bite of something hard and crunchy. Opt for softer foods such as soups, shakes, or scrambled eggs.
If you would like more information regarding braces or braces pain, don’t hesitate to contact us!