5 Ways To Feel Better if You’re Experiencing Braces Discomfort
5 Easy Ways To Relieve Braces Discomfort
According to orthodontists, around 45% of children need braces to correct functional issues such as a misaligned bite, while as many as 75% could use them to enhance the alignment of their teeth and facial shape. And though it isn’t the norm, it’s no secret that getting braces can be uncomfortable for some children. The good news is that there are ways to alleviate braces discomfort and ensure a more comfortable experience.
You might be curious about what kind of discomfort to expect when you first get braces. It’s important to remember that orthodontic treatment is highly personalized, so everyone’s experience differs. For the majority of patients, though, discomfort is mild or nonexistent. The type of braces you have and the treatment plan recommended by your orthodontist also play roles in determining your level of comfort.
Let’s explore how you can manage any discomfort that may arise.
1. Eat soft foods.
Your teeth and gums may feel sore or tender when your braces are first put on. To minimize any discomfort, try to eat soft foods that don’t require much chewing, such as soup, mashed potatoes, and smoothies. Avoid hard or sticky foods that can damage your braces, such as popcorn, gum, and caramels.
2. Take an over-the-counter (OTC) painkiller.
If you experience discomfort after your braces appointments, consider asking a parent for an over-the-counter painkiller, such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen, beforehand. Acetaminophen is often recommended for managing mild to moderate pain and may have fewer side effects than ibuprofen. However, it is essential to avoid taking more than the recommended dosage, as high doses of acetaminophen can cause liver damage. On the other hand, ibuprofen is an anti-inflammatory drug that effectively manages pain and reduces inflammation. It is best for more severe pain, such as toothaches or headaches.
So if you’re experiencing discomfort from your braces, either option will help. Follow the manufacturer’s recommendations based on whichever option you choose. And don’t take both at the same time.
3. Keep some orthodontic wax on hand.
You can use orthodontic wax to help relieve any irritation caused by the brackets or wires. Simply take a small piece of wax and roll it into a ball, then press it onto the area of your braces that is causing you discomfort.
4. Use something cold.
Using cold can be an effective way to manage discomfort associated with braces. Applying an ice pack to the affected area can help numb it and reduce inflammation. You can wrap the ice pack in a towel and hold it against the outside of your mouth for 15-20 minutes at a time, taking breaks in between.
Eating cold foods like ice cream or popsicles can also help, as the cold temperature can have a similar numbing effect. Sipping on ice-cold water can also provide temporary relief.
5. Try a numbing gel.
Gels such as Orajel are specifically designed to help relieve discomfort caused by braces. Just apply directly to your teeth or gums to help ease any pain or sensitivity you may be experiencing. They typically contain benzocaine or lidocaine, which are mild numbing agents that help to alleviate discomfort. Just follow the instructions carefully and use the recommended amount of gel. Children 12 years and younger must only use it under adult supervision.
Must Love Kids can help you relieve any pain from braces.
Experiencing discomfort or pain from braces is not uncommon, but it’s also not a given. As we said earlier, everyone’s braces journey is different; some people may have a more pain-free experience than others. However, following the tips we’ve discussed, such as eating soft foods, using orthodontic wax, and applying cold, can help make your braces experience more comfortable.
And if you do experience discomfort, don’t hesitate to let Dr. Mo know. She can provide additional tips or recommendations to help manage pain or soreness. Remember, not everyone feels pain the same way, but with the right strategies, you can find the relief you need to keep your smile shining bright. Contact us today.