Tips for Braces Pain Relief

Today is Relaxation Day! Our team at TNT Orthodontics knows that if you’ve recently been to the office to get your braces tightened, your teeth and gums may not be feeling very relaxed right now. Don’t panic; this is perfectly normal.

When you come in for a check-up, your orthodontist will make some adjustments to the metal band that extends across your teeth. During this process, your orthodontist may bend, tighten, adjust, or replace that wire with a thicker one in an effort to force your teeth to shift. They may also change out the ties used to hold the metal band on the brackets. Every adjustment your orthodontist makes to your hardware is a step closer to achieving that dynamite smile, but sometimes the movement of teeth can be a bit painful. If you experience any discomfort or soreness, follow these tips to help reduce the pain and allow you to relax on Relaxation Day.

Oral Anesthetic
Common pain relievers, such as Orajel and Anbesol, can be directly applied to your teeth and gums using a cotton swab or your finger. While the gel may not be the best tasting, it will help desensitize your mouth and decrease the pain of shifting teeth.

Over-the-counter Pain Relief Medicine
One way to help reduce any discomfort during the tightening process is to take some pain relief medication an hour prior to your orthodontist appointment. Always make sure to follow the medication’s dosage directions printed on the container. Remember: it is not recommended to take pain medication regularly as overuse can be dangerous, however it can be useful if the pain cannot be remedied by any other means. 

Ice Packs
As with any injury, applying cold pressure to the injured area can help reduce inflammation. Use a ziplock bag of ice or a gel-ice pack and hold it to the outside of your mouth to help decrease inflammation and ease any discomfort in your teeth. 

Cold Water
Drinking cold water will provide a numbing sensation in your mouth as well as help decrease any inflammation in the gums. This is an effective, inexpensive way of easing discomfort after getting your braces tightened.

Soft Foods
After getting your braces tightened, your teeth will most likely be very sensitive so it’s best to avoid hard or crunchy foods in favor of softer foods. Some good soft foods to eat when your teeth are sore are: mashed potatoes, yogurt, pudding, and soup. 

Getting your braces tightened may be uncomfortable, but remember that the pain is only temporary and will be gone in just a few days. Any discomfort you feel now will be worth it when you get your braces removed and see your dynamite smile!