Easy Ways to Alleviate Soreness from Your Braces
Posted on November 9, 2023
New braces often cause tenderness and discomfort in the days following both initial placement and tightening. If you have a child or teen who is in braces, you may be looking for ways to help alleviate some of the soreness caused by their orthodontic devices. Luckily, there are simple, soothing ways to relieve brace pain at home until their mouth adjusts to child and teen braces. Here are some of those tips.
Use Orthodontic Wax
Wax cushions tender spots where braces rub or poke. Break off a small piece and roll it into a ball. Apply it onto irritating parts of braces to create a buffer. Wax offers quick relief and protects raw areas from further irritation. You can also reapply the product as often as needed.
Take OTC Pain Relievers
Over-the-counter medications like Acetaminophen and Ibuprofen reduce inflammation and discomfort. Take as directed by your orthodontist or dentist. They may also recommend an oral pain-relieving gel specifically designed for the mouth.
Rinse With Salt Water
Warm salt water rinses help wash away food particles and soothe irritation. Stir a teaspoon of salt into a glass of warm water. Swish gently around braces at least twice daily. The salt’s anti-inflammatory properties ease mouth pain.
Apply Cold Compresses
Applying cold compresses against the outside of the face and jaw provides relief. Ice packs, chilled spoons or soft frozen fruits like melon pressed on irritated areas reduces swelling and discomfort for several hours. You should avoid placing the ice directly on your braces.
Eat Soft Foods
Stick to soft, cool foods like yogurt, apple sauce, ice cream, milkshakes and smoothies. Avoid hard, crunchy, sticky and overly hot foods that could further aggravate braces. Soft foods are gentle against tender mouths.
Take It Easy on Brushing
Go softly when brushing newly tightened braces. Use an extra soft brush and gently brush around brackets. Avoid snapping rubber bands or wires and worsening discomfort. Be extra delicate until soreness subsides after a few days.
According to the American Association of Orthodontists, there’s an estimated 4 million Americans who wear braces, with most of them being children or teens. With some TLC, brace discomfort should improve within a week. Inform your orthodontist if pain persists beyond the adjustment period or if your child or teen can’t get relief from teen braces. If you’re looking to work with an orthodontist who offers kids and teen braces, reach out to us for a consultation today.