Braces are a great way to see the smile of your dreams happen right before your eyes! It is normal to feel some acute pain or discomfort when your braces are first put on, but after a very quick adjustment period, you’ll be on your journey to a straight, bright smile for life. At Family Orthodontics, our passionate, talented orthodontists in Georgia are here to help you be confident and comfortable in whichever type of braces you choose!
1. Over-the-Counter Pain Medicine
A simple, quick way to help alleviate orthodontic-related pain is over-the-counter pain medications. Over-the-counter medicine is great to take the day of your appointment or immediately after to ease any pain or discomfort before pain signals begin. Our orthodontists caution patients to be aware of the side effects and appropriate dosage. These medications aren’t designed to be used long term, so avoid using over-the-counter pain relievers on a consistent basis and talk to your orthodontist about the alternatives. If you have any questions concerning dosage, please reach out to our office.
Just like with sore or achy muscles, ice packs are great for soreness or achiness one may feel following an orthodontic adjustment. Ice packs or a cold compress can help relieve inflammation that could be causing discomfort from orthodontic treatment. This is a simple and easy way to reduce braces-related pain and can be applied while working, watching TV, or relaxing before going to bed.
3. Orthodontic Wax
When wearing braces, metal brackets and wires may rub the inside of your cheek, causing some irritation and discomfort. Your orthodontist will provide you with orthodontic wax at your initial appointment and instructions on how best to use the wax for your braces. Pinch off a small piece of the wax and mold it over the bracket causing irritation. Orthodontic wax can also help ease any irritation from a fixed appliance, such as an expander or fixed retainer. This wax helps protect the delicate oral tissues in your mouth and keep you happy and comfortable throughout your orthodontic treatment.
4. Rinse with Salt Water
Rinsing with warm salt water is soothing and effective for relieving many dental issues. Saltwater helps ease irritation, pain, discomfort, and swelling caused by braces or removable appliances, like retainers or rubber bands, and also fights off bacteria that may cause infection. Patients can use a saltwater rinse as often as they need! Simply use ½ teaspoon of table salt and stir it into a cup of warm water until it dissolves. Swish it in your mouth just like mouthwash, then be sure to spit it out after your swish. Warm, salt water is a safe and effective treatment for orthodontic patients of all ages.
5. Modify Your Diet
Once your braces are put on, the pain and sensitivity felt when chewing may make eating difficult. In the first few days after your braces are put on or after an adjustment, modify your diet to include softer foods that will be more gentle on your mouth. Avoid hard, crunchy foods that may worsen irritation or pain. Foods like soup, mashed vegetables, smoothies, pasta, eggs, and bananas are great to incorporate into your diet until the initial pain from getting your braces tightened subsides.
6. Good Dental Hygiene
Maintaining good oral health during orthodontic treatment helps to prevent other dental issues from developing, which may cause more discomfort. Keeping your smile happy and healthy is the key to achieving the smile of your dreams! When your orthodontic treatment begins, remember to continue brushing twice a day, floss at least once a day, and use mouthwash to help clean out food particles that may get stuck in brackets or fixed appliances.
7. Chew to Increase Blood Flow
Chewing can increase blood flow and act as physical therapy for your mouth! Just like a sore muscle, it’s best to continue movement and keep blood flowing to decrease inflammation and avoid tension in the jaw. Eat soft foods to avoid further discomfort or pain as your teeth move into their new, beautiful smile.
8. Be Patient
It’s important to remember that orthodontic treatment is a process, so be patient and focus on your long-term goal of a bright, straight smile! Take care of your smile and take it one day at a time, and your orthodontic treatment will be complete before you know it.
For Excessive Pain, Call Family Orthodontics Today for an Emergency Appointment!
At Family Orthodontics Georgia, our talented and passionate orthodontists are here to ensure your orthodontic experience is a positive one. If you’re in excessive or chronic pain related to your treatment, please contact one of our conveniently located Georgia offices today!