Braces are a common orthodontic treatment used to straighten teeth and correct bite issues. However, they can cause pain and discomfort, especially in the first few days after they are put on or after an adjustment. The pain is usually caused by the pressure that the braces put on the teeth and the surrounding tissues.
Other causes of braces pain include:
Loose brackets or wires
Food stuck in the braces
Tips to Alleviate Braces Pain
Fortunately, there are ways to alleviate braces pain and discomfort. Here are some tips:
Use orthodontic wax – Apply a small amount of orthodontic wax to the brackets or wires that are causing irritation. This will create a barrier between the braces and your cheeks or lips.
Take pain relievers – Over-the-counter pain relievers such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen can help alleviate braces pain. Follow the instructions on the label and do not exceed the recommended dosage.
Use a warm saltwater rinse – Mix a teaspoon of salt in a cup of warm water and swish it around your mouth for a few minutes. This can help reduce inflammation and soothe sore gums.
Eat soft foods – Stick to soft foods such as soup, yogurt, mashed potatoes, and smoothies. Avoid hard, crunchy, or sticky foods that can damage your braces or cause more pain.
Use a cold compress – Apply a cold compress to your cheeks or jaw to reduce swelling and numb the pain.
Practice good oral hygiene – Brush and floss your teeth regularly to prevent food from getting stuck in your braces and causing more pain or irritation.
Foods to Avoid with Braces
When you have braces, it’s important to avoid certain foods that can damage your braces or cause more pain and discomfort. Here are some foods to avoid:
Hard candies and nuts
Chewy or sticky candies
Hard or crunchy fruits and vegetables
When to See Your Orthodontist
If you experience severe or persistent pain, or if you have any concerns about your braces, it’s important to see your orthodontist. They can examine your braces and make any necessary adjustments to alleviate your pain and ensure that your treatment is progressing as planned.
It’s also important to keep up with your regular orthodontic appointments to ensure that your braces are working properly and to address any issues before they become more serious.