As anyone who has experience with braces knows, there is a period of discomfort after each orthodontic adjustment. Whether traditional braces or clear aligners, the teeth are being physically moved to their optimum position. And while discomfort is to be expected, it does not have to be tolerated. Below are a few suggestions that just might help relieve the discomfort caused by braces.
1. Ice Packs - Ice isn’t just for sports-related discomfort, it works for other discomfort, as well. To relieve discomfort from braces, apply an ice pack to the affected area to reduce swelling and discomfort. Cold drinks like iced water and foods like popsicles can also do the trick - just be sure to brush your teeth afterwards so they’re not coated with sugar.
2. Diet Modifications - Instead of eating foods that require chewing, stick to soft foods like yogurt, soup, mashed potatoes, or smoothies. Once the discomfort has subsided, you can resume your usual, braces-friendly eating habits.
3. Orthodontic Wax - If your mouth discomfort is the result of irritation from brackets and wires rubbing against the inside of your cheeks, use orthodontic wax. This pliable wax can be applied to your braces to smooth the surface, making them far less uncomfortable to deal with.
4. Salt Water - Swishing with warm salt water is a tried and true method for reducing infection and alleviating soreness. It works for sore throats and it works for sore mouths, as well.
5. Oral Anesthetics - Oragel is commonly associated with teething babies, but it’s also quite effective for treating discomfort caused by braces. Apply as directed to mildly numb the gum discomfort being caused by your shifting teeth.
6. Over-the-counter Pain Relievers - Products like ibuprofen or acetaminophen can reduce inflammation and provide serious relief from discomfort. Be sure to consult your doctor or orthodontist first to make sure it’s safe for you to take.
Luckily, the discomfort associated with having braces adjusted subsides within a day or two. In the meantime, the suggestions above might help you get through those uncomfortable first hours. And when you are frustrated by the discomfort, remember how great your teeth will look when you have completed treatment.
If you’d like to discuss alternative methods of discomfort relief or you’re simply interested in learning more about the orthodontic treatments that we offer, contact Glow Orthodontics today to schedule an appointment with Dr. Hukmani. We can’t wait to give you the smile you’ve always dreamed of.