While braces are fantastic for long-term results and shaping a smile you can be proud of, the day-to-day treatment can be a bit challenging at times. Most patients find that they experience significant pain or discomfort after first getting their braces put on. This is quite normal and to be expected. A patient’s teeth and gums will likely be sore from all the poking and prodding during their appointment, not to mention the trauma of having foreign objects in their mouth.
Fortunately, there are a few known ways to counteract the pain. Follow the tips below to learn how you can adjust to your new braces.
- Hot & Cold Treatment. Heating pads and ice packs, used alternately, can help your body recover much faster. Cool temperatures will numb the pain and reduce inflammation, and the warmth will soothe the nerves in your mouth that have been traumatized. A warm-water salt rinse will also do wonders in healing any cuts or scrapes that you may have sustained during the procedure.
- Gum Massage. Your gums are typically the most affected after having your braces put on. Take a single finger on each hand and gently massage your gums to relax the swollen areas and improve circulation.
- Soft Foods. Your orthodontist will give you a list of foods that you cannot eat while wearing braces. But at first, you might not even feel much like biting into something hard or chewy anyway. While your mouth is adjusting to the new apparatus, stick to soft or liquid foods at meal times. Try things such as soup, mashed potatoes, ice cream, and smoothies.
- Orthodontic Wax. Occasionally, the pain isn’t coming from your body’s response to the braces but from the braces themselves. If you feel anything sharp or abrasive digging into your cheek or gums, contact your orthodontist to schedule a time to adjust it. Meanwhile, use a bit of orthodontic wax to dull the sharp parts and protect your mouth from further harm.
- Pain Medication. If the pain is severe enough, you might consider over-the-counter pain medication as an alternative to natural remedies. Be sure to follow the prescribed dosages, and use medication only for temporary relief. The pain should dissipate within a week.
The most important thing you can do when dealing with new braces pain is to have patience. It may be uncomfortable for a few days, but follow the tips above to ease the pain and your mouth will be as good as new in no time. For more tips and FAQs, follow the Noble Orthodontics blog. Want to schedule a consultation? Contact us today!