Tips for Cutting Down on Discomfort While Wearing Braces
An investment in braces is an investment in a more beautiful smile. Along the way, though, you may experience periodic moments of discomfort as your orthodontist adjusts or tightens the wires on your braces every month. These more uncomfortable moments are completely normal.
Here, Doctors Brian Bell and Doctor Justin Crocker provide tips for reducing discomfort from braces. To learn more, contact our Lake Jackson, TX, practice.
How to Make Your Orthodontic Experience More Comfortable
Once your braces are placed, your orthodontist will make periodic adjustments to your braces. The days following these adjustments are typically the most uncomfortable due to pressure placed on the teeth and jawbone from the tightening of the metal wires. Many patients find relief with these at-home remedies.
Gargle with Salt Water
If minor sores or irritations develop on your cheeks as a result of rubbing against the braces, rinsing your mouth or gargling with salt water can alleviate discomfort.
Use Ice Packs
Ice is a versatile tool for soothing discomfort and lowering inflammation. You can place an ice pack near your jaw or eat a frozen treat such as ice cream or a popsicle.
Wear a Mouthguard
If the metal in your braces is irritating your cheeks, wearing a mouthguard can create a protective barrier that allows those sores to heal.
Orthodontic wax can be applied to reduce irritation on your inner cheeks, lips, and gums. If you are interested in this remedy, ask your dentist about this product.
Try Numbing Gels
Products that are used to numb the gums can reduce braces pain in teens and adults. Over-the-counter products like Orajel can be applied topically on irritated gums.
Over-the-counter Pain Medications
We recommend the use of pain relievers such as Ibuprofen or Tylenol. Once you know which pain reliever works best, you can take the recommended dosage after each adjustment to your braces. Follow the medication’s guidelines carefully.
Stick to Soft Foods
This tip is especially useful in the days after your braces are tightened. Avoiding hard or crunchy foods can help avoid unnecessary discomfort while your teeth and gums are tender.
After several days, your teeth and jawbone should adjust to the changes to your braces, allowing you to return to your normal diet (minus candy, of course).
Practice Good Oral Hygiene
One key to minimizing discomfort is to prevent complications that can arise through poor oral hygiene habits. While you are undergoing orthodontic treatments, you may be at an elevated risk for decay or gum disease. Brush and floss according to your dentist’s guidelines.
Every adjustment is a step toward straighter teeth and the benefits of a more beautiful smile. Whatever experience you have with orthodontic treatments is probably similar to what others have gone through.
Contact Our Office Today
According to the American Association of Orthodontists, children should have their first orthodontic consultation by age seven. The importance of having straight teeth cannot be overstated. A healthy smile can have a positive impact on professional and personal life.
If you are ready to learn about the benefits of braces, contact our office online today or call (979) 297-1201.