While braces are not painful, your mouth is a very sensitive area. Thus, it is not uncommon to experience a little soreness after your braces have been tightened. What each person feels is a little different, however, with most only feeling a mild, achy pressure that will subside within a day or two. Additionally, the longer you’re in braces, the quicker your discomfort will go away after each tightening. In the meantime, have no fear! Here is some advice from Dr. Dennis Flanagan at Dennis J. Flanagan DDS MS that can help ease your discomfort:
Stick to Soft Foods
Soft foods like mashed potatoes and applesauce are great options when you are experiencing any mouth discomfort. When you initially get your braces, soft foods are a great option for the first couple of days. Then, on each day that you go in for a tightening, it is smart to stick to a soft food diet.
Your orthodontist’s office gives you wax for a reason! You can use this wax to cover a bracket or hook that’s rubbing or causing any discomfort. Don’t be stingy with it! And never hesitate to ask your orthodontist for more wax if you run out.
Over the Counter Relief
Over-the-counter pain relievers such as Advil, Aleve, and Ibuprofen may be taken to help alleviate any pain or discomfort. Please consult the directions on the back of the bottle or your general practitioner for safe dosage amounts and instructions. If these pain relievers are not proving to be effective, contact your orthodontist to see what other suggestions they may have.
Keep Your Hands Away
While it can be tempting, don’t pick at your braces. Playing with and potentially damaging any of the hardware in your mouth can greatly increase your treatment time. You can always schedule an appointment with your orthodontist to resolve any appliance or hardware that’s bothering you.
The worst of the discomfort takes place at the beginning, so if you’re just beginning your braces treatment, don’t get discouraged. Things will only get better from there, and it is so worth it because before you know it, you will have the beautiful smile that you deserve. As always, never hesitate to contact our office with any questions or concerns about your discomfort or treatment!