Tips for Reducing Pain with Braces Treatment
Braces can straighten the teeth and improve overall oral health. At our Edmonton, AB, practice, Dr. Nathanial Podilsky offers various treatments in orthodontics, including braces and Invisalign®. Braces should not cause severe pain, but they can cause tenderness at times, especially if you recently had them tightened. Here, our team shares some tips and tricks for reducing pain with braces treatment.
#1: Swish with Saltwater
Saltwater contains antibacterial properties. In addition to reducing bacteria in the oral cavity, it soothes irritated tissues. For this reason, it is often recommended as a healing aid after dental procedures. To make a saltwater rinse, add a half teaspoon of table salt to one cup of warm water. Swish every two to three hours or as often as needed to reduce oral discomfort.
#2: Eat Softer, Cooler Foods
If you are experiencing dental discomfort, one of the best things you can do is alter your diet for a few days. Avoid hard and crunchy foods and choose softer, cooler ones. Smoothies, yogurt, soups, and mashed potatoes are all excellent choices. You can even splurge with ice cream or a milkshake. The coolness will help alleviate pain and tenderness.
#3: Apply Ice Packs
When you have an injury, applying an ice pack to the area decreases inflammation and pain. The same goes for oral discomfort. Applying a cold compress to the external jaw can help reduce swelling and alleviate pain. Place the compress on the outside of the mouth for approximately 20 minutes, then remove. Repeat this process as often as necessary to reduce pain associated with braces.
#4: Try Orthodontic Wax
Sometimes metal brackets and wires can irritate the oral soft tissues, causing sores. If you notice sore spots on your inner cheeks, tongue, or gums, try covering the offending bracket or wire with orthodontic wax. This can significantly reduce irritation caused by braces.
#5: Use Analgesic Gel
If your teeth or gums are tender, an analgesic oral medication can help alleviate some of that discomfort. Topical ointments like Orajel® and Anbesol® are extremely effective for reducing discomfort caused by braces. These medications can be found in any oral health aisle.
#6: Take Over-the-Counter Pain Medication
Over-the-counter pain relievers such as acetaminophen and ibuprofen can be used if none of the recommendations listed above are effective. Ask your dentist about proper dosage, and do not take for more than a few days in a row.
#7: Be Patient
When it comes to braces-related discomfort, understand that it will not last forever. In fact, some patients report little to no tenderness at all. However, if you develop pain or irritation, follow the guidelines mentioned above and take it one day at a time. Any discomfort you have should diminish within 72 hours.
Schedule an Orthodontic Visit Today
Tenderness is a normal aspect of orthodontic care. Just remember that it is temporary. Any discomfort you experience will be worth it when your braces come off and your brand-new, beautiful smile is revealed. If you would like to learn more about braces, or if you have questions about your current treatment, give us a call at 780-428-6846 or contact us online anytime.