After you have your regular appointment to tighten your braces (or once you get braces first put on your teeth), it’s common for your mouth to feel somewhat sore. While you may find it a little reassuring to know that the tenderness you feel is normal, this knowledge doesn’t make the pain go away.
To find relief, try some of these tips:
Take a pain reliever
Whether you prefer Tylenol (acetaminophen), Advil (ibuprofen), or just plain aspirin, an over-the-counter pain relief drug can help ease the soreness you feel. You might even want to take a dose before your appointment, so it will already be working when you leave the office. Of course, make sure you follow instructions and safe-dosage guidelines.
Try an oral topical numbing medication like Orajel or Anbesol or a rinse like Rincinol. They may taste a little weird, but they do the trick.
Make it cold
Cold will also numb pain while it helps to bring down any swelling. So drink a glass of cold, cold water or even apply an ice pack if you feel it might help. Treat yourself to a popsicle or some ice cream. You can also suck on an ice cube, but be sure not to chomp down on ice as that can damage your braces.
Get the blood flowing
Massage your gums with a finger or gently chew some sugarless gum. You can also try bite wafers, which are flat U-shaped trays that slip in your mouth. Activities that stimulate blood flow to your mouth will reduce the lactic acid that’s ultimately the root of the soreness.
Make it warm
Swishing with a warm salt water rinse is another way to get the blood flowing to your gums and can also help relieve pain caused by any cuts inside your mouth.
Soreness from braces after they’re tightened typically lasts for three to five days, and the pain will lessen as the days go on. Eat soft foods while you’re waiting for your mouth to adjust to the new pressure of the tightened arch wire.
Also, patients should feel free to call us to ask us if we have any personalized recommendations. Unique orthodontic products like bite wafers and Rincinol have been mentioned, but there are many more available. One of them may be the right one for you.