While braces aren’t extremely painful, you may experience some discomfort after getting your wires adjusted, replaced, or tightened. The pain doesn’t last long, but it can hinder your ability to eat or speak for a few hours. Our Lehigh Valley orthodontists have put together a braces pain relief plan to help you feel more comfortable and more confident during this time.

Use an Ice Pack

The root cause of your mouth pain is inflammation. Swollen gums are the most common side-effect of braces. It takes your mouth a while to get used to the presence of the metal wires, which can cause a reaction in your gums. If you’re feeling a little sore after your orthodontist appointment, place an ice pack on the outside of your mouth. This will help reduce swelling and pain. Frozen bags of vegetables also work great.

If you’re sensitive to the cold, a heating pad or warm washcloth can also help offer some braces pain relief.

Apply Orthodontic Wax

When wires are changed, you may feel them poke and prod the inside of your cheek. This is common until your teeth shift and adjust to their new position. You may also experience the discomfort of the brackets rubbing against the inside of your lips. Sometimes swelling or chafing can occur.

Orthodontic wax can be used to prevent sores. Simply rub the wax onto your wires or brackets. This will reduce irritation as well as the slight pinches and pains you may feel.

Rinse with Salt Water

You may have heard that salt water is good for wounds and sores in the mouth. It is often a recommended treatment because it can heal cuts and kill bacteria.

For braces pain relief, simply put a half-teaspoon of salt in a glass of warm water. Swish the mixture in your mouth for about 60 seconds before spitting it out. This will clean out sores, alleviate pain, and even give your mouth a quick clean. If your sores are serious, you can rinse with salt water up to four times a day.

Adjust Your Diet

Hard, crunchy foods will further irritate your teeth and gums. Not to mention, sticky, chewy, or crunchy foods may even cause damage to your braces. Stay away from chips and pretzels for a few days after you get your braces tightened.

Instead, eat soft foods like yogurt, mashed potatoes, jello, soft vegetables, eggs, soup, or pasta. Cold foods and drinks also work wonders when it comes to braces pain relief. Ice cream, smoothies, and water will offer relief to the sorest parts of your mouth.

Over-the-Counter Pain Medicine

If the above braces pain relief methods don’t work, over-the-counter pain medicine is available. If you’re prone to pain, sometimes taking medicine before your appointment will help reduce swelling. Be sure to follow the recommended dosages for your body size and age.

If you have questions about which pain medication to take, ask your orthodontist first!

Take Time

Remember, the pain is only temporary. Sometimes patience and time are the best remedies. Resting, applying an ice pack, and enjoying one of your favorite ice cream flavors is a great way to forget about the pain and make time go just a little bit faster.

If you have questions about braces or Invisalign from Exeter Smiles, we encourage you to schedule an appointment with our team.