7 Ways To Reduce Braces Pain
Wearing braces is one of the most effective methods for treating crooked teeth. These dental devices work by realigning and straightening crowded teeth back to their rightful positions.
However, as much as braces can help bring back your once beautiful smile, wearing them can cause a lot of pain and discomfort.
You have to visit your local orthodontist regularly to adjust and tighten the braces accordingly to ensure that your teeth are repositioning to their rightful place. All these procedures can cause great discomfort and irritation for several days to weeks before you get used to them.
Here are a few tips on how to reduce braces pain and get used to your new orthodontic devices.
Take Over-the-Counter Pain Medication
You should expect to feel a bit of pain and discomfort after visiting your orthodontist. However, you can quickly arrest the situation by taking over-the-counter pain relievers like Ibuprofen and acetaminophen.
The good thing about over-the-counter medications is that they are easily accessible and they do not require a prescription. However, you have to follow the right dosage as per instruction.
In some cases, you may need to take these pain relievers several times during the day since most of them only provide temporary relief.
Rub an Oral Anesthetic
One of the easiest ways to reduce braces pain is to apply an oral anesthetic like Anbesol or Orajel. Oral anesthetics have a numbing effect and they help desensitize the teeth thus ensuring you will not feel any pain or discomfort.
You can rub the anesthetic directly to problem areas using a cotton swab or your fingers. If you decide to use your fingers, make sure you clean them thoroughly with soap before application to prevent spreading bacteria to your teeth and gums.
Apply Orthodontic Wax
After adjusting and fixing your braces, your orthodontist will probably give you orthodontic wax to take home with you. This soft special wax works like magic to effectively soothe your sore gums and protect your lips and cheeks from the braces. The wax creates a barrier within your mouth to prevent the sharp edges of the braces from irritating your gums and cheeks.
It consists of 100% natural ingredients, making it safe for oral use. However, you must follow all directions as indicated on the package during application. For best results, apply the wax after meals and after brushing your teeth.
Stick to Soft Foods
Once you get your braces fixed, you have to change your diet and eating habits, albeit temporarily. You cannot eat or chew hard and crunchy foods such as candy, crackles, raw vegetables, and French fries lest you damage the braces and cause more harm to your gums and teeth.
Instead, you should opt for softer meals such as yogurt, milk, cereal, mashed potatoes, cheese, and soups. Remember, this is only for a while and it is just a matter of time before you resume your normal diet.
Try Cold Foods and Drinks
Believe it or not but consuming cold foods and beverages can help reduce braces pain. Treating yourself to popsicles, ice cream, or even drinking a glass of cold ice water will make your mouth and gums numb and help reduce the pain. However, this is only practical if you do not have extremely sensitive teeth.
You can also try applying ice packs to the painful areas around your cheeks, gums, and lips. The ice will effectively reduce swelling and alleviate the pain.
Gurgle with Warm Salt Water
Rinsing your mouth with warm salt water to relieve pain is one of the oldest tricks in the book. Wearing braces can cause sores and small cuts in your mouth. One of the best and natural ways to deal with these sores in your gums is to gurgle a solution of warm water and salt. The solution will not only prevent infections, but also reduce the pain.
Maintain Good Dental Hygiene
Good oral hygiene does not come to a halt the moment you wear braces. You should continue with your oral hygiene routine as you strive to get your beautiful smile back. Any food particles stuck between your teeth and braces can lead to cavities and cause dental problems. With this in mind, make sure you brush your teeth twice a day, after every meal, and keep your braces clean to ward off plaque and tooth decay.