5 Tips to Reduce Pain from Braces
Getting your braces tightened or adjusted isn’t always the most pleasant experience. And no matter how much you love your orthodontist (and how excited you are for your new smile), chances are, you’ve left an appointment or two thinking—my braces hurt.
When your braces hurt, it usually isn’t cause for alarm. Braces pain is completely normal and something that virtually everyone who has them can relate to. Braces are there to move and correct your teeth by applying gentle, constant pressure—so it stands to reason that you’ll feel a little sore from time to time. The longer you have braces, the more you’ll learn to recognize what is normal pain and what isn’t. If you feel like a bracket has popped off, a wire has come loose, or any other significant and painful change has taken place, call your orthodontist.
Just because a little pain is normal with braces doesn’t mean you have to just live with it. We’ve compiled a list of our best tips and tricks to help with braces pain relief. Braces pain remedies are simple and easy to use. If you need the help of a parent or guardian to complete any of these suggestions, make sure to ask.
How to Ease the Pain of Braces
Keep it Cold
If you find your mouth throbbing from a recent braces adjustment—stay cool. By drinking cold things and eating cold foods, you help your mouth relax and relieve the pain. If you fall and bruise your knee, the doctor will likely tell you to ice it to minimize pain and swelling. The same is true for braces. If you feel your pain escalating, give ice water a try. The cold temperature of the ice water will temporarily numb your mouth while simultaneously reducing inflammation. You can also try other cold foods and drinks for the same effect. Just remember to brush your teeth right away if you choose to use ice cream or juice to cool down your braces pain.
Along with cool foods and drinks, you may also want to stick to soft foods after a big adjustment. When you are constantly crunching on chips or candy, you give your teeth quite a workout. And while your teeth exist to help you chew, one of the simplest braces pain remedies is to steer clear of the crunch. Looking for a few soft food suggestions? We’ve got you covered.
- Mashed Potatoes
- Apple Sauce
If your mouth is really starting to hurt, consider using an over-the-counter pain medication like acetaminophen or ibuprofen. After you get your braces significantly tightened, your orthodontist may even tell you to take some before you start feeling pain. Make sure to take the appropriate dose of these medications and avoid taking doses too close together. Even if your pain returns, you still need to wait until it is safe to take a second dose.
If you find that medications like acetaminophen or ibuprofen aren’t helping your specific pain, look for an over-the-counter oral numbing agent. A pharmacist will be able to help you locate a safe brand. A numbing agent can be swished around the mouth or applied topically to relieve pain in a specific area of the mouth.
Some braces pain doesn’t come from adjustments or tightenings at all—it comes from poor care and hygiene. You can prevent numerous problems by doing the simple things your orthodontist has asked you to do every single day.
- Brush your teeth twice a day
- Brush your gums and tongue daily
- Floss daily
- Use a fluoride mouthwash daily
- Avoid eating sticky foods
- Avoid poking sharp objects in your wires or around your brackets
If you feel a bracket pop off or a wire come loose, call your orthodontist immediately and use orthodontic wax to cover the exposed wire until it can be fixed. Do not try to adjust the wire yourself. At Foote Orthodontics, we are always happy to help you with any orthodontic questions or concerns. For more information, or if you are having issues with your braces, contact us today!