Sometimes I think the expression “pain is beauty” derived from someone talking about braces. It is no secret that braces can cause abundant soreness, irritation, and pain inside of your mouth. Luckily, there are a number of things you can do to combat the pain from braces and ensure that you are undergoing the braces process in the most comfortable way possible. Remember, you are not alone in dealing with the struggles that come with braces; and, you will be glad you invested in them once you see your new, perfect smile.
Use an oral anesthetic
Orajel and Anbesol are a few pain relievers that can be applied directly to your teeth and gums. Use a cotton swab or your finger to apply the numbing gel to the areas of discomfort. The gel may not taste fantastic, but it does help to desensitize the mouth and decrease the pain of shifting teeth.
Take over-the-counter pain relief medicine
Be proactive! If you take pain relief medication an hour before your appointment, it will help ease any potential discomfort during the tightening process. Any over-the-counter pain medication should do the trick, but just make sure to follow the usage directions provided on the container. It’s not recommended to take pain pills regularly, as overuse can be dangerous, but they can be beneficial when the pain can’t be subdued by other remedies.
Use an icepack
Just like with an injury, it’s important to apply cold pressure to the area of discomfort, as inflammation increases pain. An icepack, or a gel-icepack applied to the outside of your mouth will help decrease inflammation and ultimately help to ease the oral discomfort.
Drink cold water
Ice cold water is a great, inexpensive way to ease discomfort after you get your braces tightened. The cold temperature provides a numb sensation in the mouth and decreases inflammation in the sore gums.
Eat soft foods
Your teeth will very likely be sensitive as they shift after your braces are tightened. Avoid crunchy, hard, or difficult to eat foods and opt for more soft foods. Mashed potatoes, smoothies, pudding and soup are good options because they don’t require much chewing and involvement of the teeth.
Dr. Elizabeth Haynes is an experienced orthodontist in the Greenbelt, MD and Washington, DC area (or surrounding counties: Prince George’s, Montgomery, or Anne Arundel County) give her a call at 301-302-8395 to schedule your free consultation today.