Although braces are not meant to cause pain, they can cause discomfort until you get used to them. This is usually worse when you have just got your braces fitted or after they have been tightened. If you are worried about pain from braces or you are getting pain from your braces, read on to find out how to alleviate this pain.
Pain medication is a great way to alleviate brace pain. Anything over the counter can help, such as ibuprofen or Tylenol. If you are due to get your braces tightened and you know it causes discomfort in your mouth, you can start taking over the counter medication a few hours before you see your dentist or orthodontist.
If you are not sure which medication is best, speak to the pharmacist. Take all medication as stated on the packet. If your braces are causing severe pain after being fitted or tightened, make sure to get in touch with your dentist straight away.
If you have traditional metal braces, you may sometimes feel irritation inside the mouth, which is caused by sharp ends. This may even cause a cut on the inside of your mouth. If you find this happening, orthodontic wax can be used to protect any area affected including the inside of your lips, gums, and cheeks. The wax is non-toxic, so it is fine if you swallow any.
Some people prefer to get aligners rather than braces to straighten their teeth, as they are made with plastic instead of metal and are therefore less likely to cause irritation and cuts. If you are wondering whether you should consider conventional braces or aligners, check out ALIGNERCO’s blog on aligners vs braces, to see which option is best for you.
If you do not want to take pain medication or it is not effective enough, you can use anesthetic gel. This can be found over the counter and is applied directly to the sensitive areas, targeting the area of pain. It can be used on both teeth and gums and should be applied with your finger or a cotton swab. This will then numb the area, alleviating any pain or discomfort. Some good anesthetic gels include Anbesol and Orajel.
Hot and Cold Therapy
If you are struggling with brace pain, applying something cold to the mouth can help to reduce any inflammation and numb the area. An ice pack or something from the freezer wrapped in a towel will do the trick. If you do not have anything like that to hand, you can also drink some cold, ice water.
If you prefer something warm, using a heating pad or hot water bottle (be careful not to use boiling water) can also alleviate pain when held against the jaw. You may also want to do a warm water salt rinse.
Brace discomfort and pain can be difficult, especially when trying to eat after having them tightened. This should go away after a few days, and you will get used to them. If it does not, speak to your dentist.
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