While the beautifully straight smile that comes from having braces is the end-goal, you have to get through the treatment with braces. And, well, sometimes that can be a little uncomfortable. It is important to maintain focus on why you have the braces and know that this is temporary.
Plus, there is good news - there are ways to relieve the pain!
The Discomfort of Braces
When your braces are initially put on through the bonding process, your mouth may feel weird as you are not used to it. The wires are then tightened - and that’s what most people are referring to when they say braces hurt. The pressure is there to give your teeth encouragement to move so you can end up with the smile of your dreams. This tightening will happen regularly throughout the time you are wearing your braces.
Common discomfort that is felt by those wearing braces are:
- Jaw tension
- Pressure on the teeth
- Swollen and/or inflamed gums
- Difficulty chewing food
- Irritated cheeks, lips and/or gums
Although the discomfort will fade within a few days, it is important how to make those few days bearable.
Tips for Braces Pain Relief
People feel pain differently. You may find that everything feels great after a couple of hours. For others, it may take much longer. So, when it comes to discomfort relief, it is important to find an option that fits you - and offers you relief.
Ice Packs. Just as you would put ice on an injured part of your body, you can use ice for your mouth, too. Use a cold ice pack to the area that is hurting. This should reduce any swelling or inflammation and, in turn, reduce the discomfort.
Choose Cold Foods and Drinks. Just like the ice pack on the outside can help, so can putting something cold inside your mouth. Eat a popsicle or suck on an ice cube. You may be surprised at the relief it brings.
Orthodontic Wax. For pain and irritation inside your mouth along your inner cheeks, lips, or gums, orthodontic wax can help. Simply apply this soft wax over the wires or brackets in the inflamed area.
Try Swishing with Salt Water. Irritated or inflamed areas can turn into bigger sores. Swishing with warm salt water for 60 seconds a couple of 3-4 times per day can help to reduce any infection, thus easing your discomfort.
Watch What You Eat. If your braces are causing you discomfort, it is best not to aggravate the situation anymore by eating hard, crunchy goods. Rather, stick to soft foods that don’t involve a lot of chewing.
Invest in Pain Reliever. While it is preferred that you try these at-home methods for reducing pain from your braces, sometimes you may require a little more. And, that’s ok. An over-the-counter pain reliever, such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen, should be able to help. Orajel may also prove to be helpful in numbing sore areas.
Getting Through the Pain at Embrace Orthodontics
As you transition through braces treatment, you are going to experience moments of discomfort - especially following your wire-tightening appointments. During this time, it is important to remember that it is only temporary and you will be rewarded with the smile of your dreams when it's all said and done.
Of course, it is also imperative that you continue to keep up with your normal oral hygiene despite the discomfort.
If you have any questions or are interested in getting braces, call Embrace Orthodontics at one of our two convenient locations.
Or schedule a complimentary consultation.