Managing braces pain: 6 tips and tricks to keeping your smile pain free

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Investing in your smile is a decision you’ll never regret. Orthodontic treatment with an orthodontic specialist will allow you to have the healthy, beautiful smile you’ve always wanted.

Throughout your orthodontic treatment you will be required to attend follow-up visits where your orthodontic specialist will make sure your braces are continually moving your teeth into the optimal position. Wires may be replaced or adjusted to ensure proper alignment. These adjustments might cause you temporary discomfort as your teeth move into their new positions. Be sure to consult with your orthodontic specialist about ways to manage the soreness and irritation that can sometimes arise from treatment.   But start with these quick, at-home tips to get comfort right away.

1. Keep ice water or cold treats close by

Just as ice or cold packs can be used to soothe sore muscles or joints on your body, drinking ice water or snacking on cold treats can help reduce the soreness that may occur initially after a wire adjustment or other orthodontic procedure.   Ice cream, milkshakes, and smoothies are great examples of braces friendly cold treats that you can indulge in to help alleviate the discomfort!

2. Swish warm salt water

Your cheeks, lips, tongue, or gums may become irritated by new brackets, wires, attachments, aligners, or other orthodontic appliances placed at your appointment.  Rinsing with warm salt water for 60 seconds can help provide relief.

3. Apply orthodontic wax

In addition to the warm salt water rinse, use the orthodontic wax that was given to you by your orthodontic specialist to act as a smooth buffer in those irritated areas. Orthodontic wax is easy to apply and will act as a physical barrier between your cheek and your braces allowing the sore to heal.

4. Eat softer foods

If you are experiencing some discomfort after your orthodontic appointment avoid foods that require a lot of chewing.  Instead, search for a softer food option, such as yogurt, soup, pasta, mashed potatoes, smoothies, or even ice cream.

5. Take over-the-counter pain relievers

If pain persists, over—the—counter pain relievers can be used to alleviate soreness. Be sure to consult with your orthodontic specialist about their recommendations of pain relievers for you or your child.

6. Be patient

Last but not least, be patient. The discomfort that arises from braces eventually will resolve as your teeth adapt to each adjustment. Your orthodontic journey might not always be pain free, but it will all be worth it when you achieve your healthy, beautifully aligned smile in the end.

For additional tips on how to relieve braces pain, consult your Texas Association of Orthodontists specialist.