Orthodontic treatment is certainly more comfortable than it used to be, but you are likely to still experience a bit of discomfort throughout your time in braces, especially at the beginning. While there are a few instances where you should see your orthodontist ASAP (such as with a loose or broken bracket), there are plenty of at-home remedies to help with discomfort!
Dental wax for poking wires
Poking wires are a common reason for patients to feel a bit of discomfort during orthodontic treatment. Excess wire at the back of the mouth can result from the teeth moving or the wire slipping over to one side. This can cause the wire to rub against the patient’s cheek, causing irritation. On the day you get your braces, we give you a supply of dental wax and show you how to use it to help alleviate the discomfort. You can also use cotton to cover the wire, or use a cotton swab or eraser to move the wire away from the irritated area. In case of emergency, you can cut the wire with nail clippers that have been sterilized in alcohol.
Temporarily adjusting your diet
When you first get your braces on, your mouth may feel sore and achy for a few days as your mouth adjusts to the new appliance. This is completely normal, but the pain may be worsened by eating hard or tougher foods. Until this soreness subsides, try these foods to keep discomfort at a minimum: smoothies, soup, scrambled eggs, oatmeal, soft veggies, flaky fish, ground beef, and soft-cooked pasta.
Mouthwash or homemade rinse
It is also common for patients to experience irritation in the mouth during orthodontic treatment such as sores from the appliance rubbing against the tongue and cheeks. We provide our patients with a special mouthwash that is meant to sooth this type of discomfort. You can also try rinsing with warm salt water to help soothe your mouth.
Over the counter pain relievers
We understand that our patients each have a different threshold for pain. If the discomfort of braces is a little overwhelming at first, we recommend trying over the counter pain relievers such as acetaminophen or other non-aspirin pain relievers. This should help alleviate the pain until your mouth gets used to your new braces!
It is incredibly important to us that our patients have a positive experience while they are in braces. While some discomfort is par for the course, we hope these tips help you have a more pleasant, enjoyable time during your orthodontic treatment!
To learn more about orthodontics, emergency care, and more, visit our website. If you are ready to dive in and get the smile you’ve always wanted, schedule an appointment with us!