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  • 6 Tips for Dealing with Brace Pain

    Pain caused by braces usually goes away quickly—but when you or your child are dealing with brace pain, those few days can be a challenge. When braces are first fitted and after adjustments, the mouth needs a few days to adjust to the changes. With these tips, you will be smiling again before you know it.

    Teenager with braces is having a toothache

    Taking the Sting out of Wearing Braces

    Discomfort from new braces may last a few days to a few weeks because of rubbing metal parts, changes in blood flow, and gentle pressure on the teeth.1 Your pediatric orthodontics office should be happy to help with supplies and advice during this transition to a more beautiful smile.

    Some of the best ways to stop the sting are:

    1. Apply Dental Wax to Rough Spots

    You can get dental wax from your orthodontist or at a pharmacy. It is firm but pliable, and it is used to cover the metal brackets or any place the lips get sore. Pretty soon, you won’t even notice these spots anymore. You can use dental wax at any time but applying it at bedtime after tooth brushing is very helpful.

    2. Use a Numbing Medicine on Pain Points

    Applying something like Orabase, Orajel, or any local anesthetic designed for mouth pain will give temporary relief from sores or gum pain for several hours. Apply with your finger or a cotton swab on lips, teeth, and gums, following the package directions. Toothpaste designed for sensitive teeth may also help.

    3. Try a Gum Massage for Healing

    Massaging the gums helps circulation and may relieve pain. Gently rub your gums with your fingertips in a circular movement. You can massage them with an ice cube also, to reduce swelling and soreness.

    4. Get a Mouth Guard

    You might want a mouth guard anyway if you participate in active sports while wearing braces. You can also use your mouth guard to put a barrier between the brackets and wires of your braces and the inside of your mouth. This helps sores heal and prevents further irritation.

    teenage girl with dental braces and holding ice cream

    5. Eat and Drink Cold Soft Things

    You should eat things that are cool and easy to chew while you have brace pain. Frozen strawberries, grapes, yogurt, ice cream, juice pops, and even frozen teething rings will not only numb the discomfort with cold, but they’ll keep you fed and distract you.

    6. Take Medication as Needed

    Natural remedies often take care of the pain caused by braces, but there’s nothing wrong with taking an over the counter painkiller like ibuprofen or acetaminophen. Your doctor or orthodontist can make a specific recommendation for you and tell you how much to take or if any other medications might help.

    What if These Tips Don’t Do the Trick?

    If these simple steps don’t help, or the pain gets worse instead of better, you should talk to your orthodontist’s office for some advice. A bracket, band, or wire might have come loose or something else might need adjustment.

    We always want to know what’s happening between our patients’ appointments, so if your child or you have unexpected problems, give us a call right away. While some discomfort is expected during the process of straightening teeth, we are happy to help in any way we can. Give us a call today at (443) 603-3448 to find out more or schedule an appointment.

    Sources:

    1. https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/327201#do-braces-hurt

  • Caring for Your Braces

    Getting braces can be exciting, but it also brings some new challenges. How do you care for your braces?

    The first thing to know is that some foods can damage your braces—along with your teeth. These include crunchy foods like potato chips and apples, sugary foods like soda and ice cream, and sticky foods like caramel and taffy. You should also know how to brush properly with braces. You may even want to get a thin interdental brush to reach some hard-to-reach areas in your mouth.

    After brushing, you also need to know how to floss and rinse after you brush to ensure no food particles are left over. Flossing might be a little more difficult, so you may want to invest in an air or water flosser as an easy-to-use alternative

    Caring for your braces can seem difficult, but the reality is you just need to put some extra effort into cleaning your teeth and know what foods to avoid. To find out more about how to care for your braces, read the infographic below.

    Caring for Your Braces Infographic

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