You might have just gotten your braces on, or you just got them tightened and you are looking for braces pain relief. There are a number of ways you can get some relief from the discomfort. We’ll learn more in just a bit, but first, let’s hear from the orthodontic medicine experts.
Pain is an undesirable side effect of orthodontic tooth movement, which causes many patients to want to give up orthodontic treatment or avoid it altogether (Topolski et al.,2018).
Orthodontic tooth movement is a result of the forces placed on the teeth. The orthodontic forces promote tooth displacement in the periodontal ligament space, leading to the formation of areas of compression and traction which eventually lead to pain (Topolski et al.,2018). That’s a fancy way of saying your teeth have to be displaced from their old place, moved to their new place, and shift around in the matrix material that makes up your jaw. Think of it like drawing your finger in the sand, and how the sand fills in behind your finger.
Unfortunately this symptom is frequently underestimated and receives little attention. When considering the importance of pain control to promote patient well-being and avoid orthodontic non-compliance, it is necessary to discuss optimal pain relief strategies (Topolski et al.,2018).
What Causes Braces Pain?
Unfortunately, this question is not far-fetched as many patients may experience discomfort or even pain with the orthodontic treatment. During orthodontic treatment, the patient’s teeth are being actively repositioned. This repositioning and alteration of the locations of the teeth may affect the blood flow in the teeth, leading to an inflammatory response, which further leads to aches or even pain in the teeth.
Additionally, during each of the necessary appointments, the orthodontist can tighten, bend, or replace the archwire that stretches across the teeth and connects the braces and brackets. This wire is responsible for placing pressure on the teeth to cause them to straighten. Some patients experience discomfort after the regular appointments of up to three days. Fortunately, the soreness and pain tends to reduce with each appointment.
If you’re worried about how you will handle pain, be sure to speak to your orthodontist as each patient will experience pain and soreness differently. Not every patient has pain after their appointment and even if you do have pain, there are ways of reducing the pain. It is essential that you do not try to remove or alter your braces in any way but consult your orthodontist if you have any pain or discomfort.
How to Stop Braces Pain?
So, how can you stop the pain or discomfort that you might feel as a result of the process of wearing braces?
Take over-the-counter pain relief medicine
Your orthodontist might advise you to use an oral pain reliever for braces pain relief. He or she may recommend an over-the-counter pain relief medicine or an oral anesthetic that you can apply to your teeth and gums.
Use an oral anesthetic
If you’re going to use an oral anesthetic, ensure that you apply the oral anesthetic using a clean Q-tip or using any other clean methods that your orthodontist recommends.
Additionally, your orthodontist may tell you that these oral anesthetics do not taste great, and you might experience some unpleasant tastes with it.
Here are some other ways of helping your pain:
Apply Dental/Orthodontic Wax:
Always ensure to have a chat with your orthodontist about dental orthodontic wax for braces pain relief. Make sure that you consult your orthodontist regarding the best dental wax for your needs, and how to apply it. You might not feel immediate relief with this method, but don’t get discouraged.
Dental wax or orthodontic wax is designed specifically to relieve any pain that may be caused by your braces rubbing on your cheeks or inside your lips. When braces wax is applied, it is used to create a barrier between the wires of the braces and your mouth. This reduced contact helps to reduce pain. The dental wax can be used for children and adults.
Speak to your orthodontist about the correct way to apply dental wax, but here are a few tips: ensure your hands are clean and brush your teeth properly to prevent any bacterial infection under the wax. Additionally, dry the braces before applying the wax. Furthermore, locate the painful areas and prepare to apply the wax. Before applying the wax, take a little amount, and roll it slightly for at least five seconds and place a little ball of wax on the painful area.
Eat Soft Foods
Another tip for braces pain relief is to eat soft foods. This is pretty intuitive, as eating soft foods will help chewing and make it easier to avoid placing further stress on your teeth.
Use an Ice Pack & Cold Ice Water
Using an ice pack and cold water will help reduce any inflammation and discomfort and provide some braces pain relief. You can apply the ice pack on the outside of your mouth, but ensure that you don’t apply for any longer than is recommended to prevent any tissue damage. Speak to your orthodontist about how long to apply your ice pack for.
Water is great to make you feel comfortable, refreshed, and hydrated. The cold liquid will also help to reduce painful areas and relieve inflammation.
Rinse with salt water
Salt water is good to prevent any infection and further reduce pain and give you braces pain relief.
Chew on frozen teething rings
If able, chewing on frozen teething rings can also help you with braces pain relief. The cold will serve to help reduce inflammation as well.
Use a heating pad
If you choose to use a heating pad, ensure you speak to the orthodontist about the length of time to apply the heat pad, and any specific precautions that you orthodontist might recommend such as preventing burns by not applying the heat pad for longer than necessary if you go this route for braces pain relief.
The above are some tips that you can use for pain relief if you have pain with your orthodontic treatment with braces. It is essential that you contact your orthodontist if you’re in pain, and seek their recommendations for braces pain relief. Also, severe pain is not usual, so you may need to make an appointment to have your braces checked.
If you don’t have a regular orthodontist, feel free to visit ivanovortho.com to make a booking. We’re happy to provide a free initial consultation to answer your questions and give you an idea of what kinds of treatment are available.
Topolski, F., Moro, A., Correr, G. M., & Schimim, S. C. (2018). Optimal management of orthodontic pain. Journal of pain research, 11, 589–598. https://doi.org/10.2147/JPR.S127945