Did you know that February 9 is National Toothache Day? If you have braces, you might be familiar with a little dental soreness. Luckily, any discomfort is temporary, and you can feel confident knowing that your teeth are moving to deliver you a straight, healthy smile. If a little discomfort is getting you down, fortunately there are many simple ways to alleviate that soreness and enjoy your braces experience!
Here are Dr. Petty and Dr. Bielik’s top suggestions for more comfortable braces:
1. Take a painkiller. Over-the-counter pain medication like ibuprofen or Tylenol can help alleviate initial soreness when you first get your braces adjusted. Although we don’t recommend taking these medications on a consistent basis, it can make a big difference if you take pain medication about half an hour before your orthodontic appointment. Just remember to read the label carefully and follow the recommended dosage!
2. Use orthodontic wax. We recommend that you use orthodontic wax to cover up the rougher parts of your braces or any area that is irritating the interior of your mouth. Wax will help your mouth adjust to the sensation of braces and help relieve any discomfort caused by the new brackets and wires.
3. Try a numbing gel. It’s easy to find over-the-counter oral numbing gels at any grocery store or pharmacy. If your teeth or gums are sore, try applying some of this gel to the area—it will numb your mouth for a couple of hours.
4. Put some ice on it. Ice is a simple way to relieve temporary inflammation or soreness. Try holding an ice pack to your sore jaw. Whatever you do, don’t chew or suck on ice: you could easily break your braces or bend a wire!
5. Gargle with saline. Swishing and gargling with salt water is a simple, all-natural way to alleviate pressure, inflammation, and discomfort. Salt water will also help prevent infection and irritation of your gums and cheeks. Make your own saline at home with warm water and a few pinches of salt.
With these tips in mind, you can relieve any discomfort and enjoy a comfortable smile transformation. If you have more questions, please contact our office today!