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Managing Discomfort From Braces

6th Feb, 2024

Braces are an essential part of many peoples journey to a straighter smile, but they often come with some discomfort. Understanding how to relieve pain from braces is crucial for a more comfortable orthodontic experience. Whether you’re an adult going through the treatment yourself, or a parent trying to reduce your child’s pain. In this blog, we will explore effective tips and techniques to minimise discomfort during your braces treatment


Why Your Braces Hurt

At The Start Of Treatment

It’s normal to experience some discomfort when your braces are first applied. The initial uneasiness typically lasts a few days as your mouth adjusts to the new braces. Knowing what to expect during this onset of discomfort can help you prepare and manage it effectively.

When do braces start to hurt?

Braces may start causing discomfort shortly after they are applied. Research suggests that 24-48 hours after the braces are applied are the most painful. The initial discomfort is part of the adjustment period as your mouth gets used to the new orthodontic hardware.

How Long Does The Pain Last?

Your mouth will need time to adapt to the presence of braces. The adjustment period varies for each individual but typically subsides fully after one to two weeks. It’s important to be patient and follow proper care instructions provided by your orthodontist. The pain can last anywhere from a few days to two weeks, and may reappear when braces are adjusted or tightened.


Immediate Pain Relief Strategies

1. Ice Packs

Applying ice packs to your cheeks can help reduce swelling and numb the area. But remember to wrap the ice packs in a cloth or towel before placing them on your face. Use for 10-15 minutes at a time. It’s okay to take breaks in between.

2. Cold Foods/Drinks

Consuming cold foods/drinks can provide temporary relief by numbing the mouth. But opt for soft, cold foods such as yoghurt, smoothies, or ice cream. Be mindful of excessive sugar. Avoid extremely cold foods that may cause sensitivity or discomfort.

3. Orthodontic/Dental Wax

Applying orthodontic wax over brackets or wires that are causing irritation creates a barrier between the braces and your mouth, reducing friction and soreness. Make sure to clean the area thoroughly before applying wax to get a better adhesion.

4. Over-The-Counter Medicine

Try over-the-counter pain medicines like Ibuprofen and Paracetamol after consulting with your pharmacist.

5. Over-The-Counter Anaesthetic

An over-the-counter anaesthetic, or numbing cream can be applied for immediate relief. Chat to your pharmacist to find the best option.

6. Warm Mouth Rinse

A warm salt-water rinse or gargle can provide pain relief and heal sores or cuts that your braces may have caused.

7. Gum Massage

Massage your gums, preferably after using ice or a similar method. But don’t overdo it, and make sure to clean your hands thoroughly before doing so. Move your hands in a circular fashion while gently pushing into your gums.


Removing Other Factors Causing Discomfort

Soft Foods

Eat soft foods that require minimal chewing to reduce discomfort. Such as mashed potatoes, soups, smoothies, and pasta. Avoid hard or sticky foods which may cause additional pain or damage to your braces. Choosing which foods to eat, and which to avoid with braces is an important part of managing discomfort.

Avoiding Hard Foods

Steer clear of hard foods like nuts, popcorn, and hard candies, as they can imitate braces-related pain. Choose softer alternatives to protect your braces and minimise the discomfort. Avoid Chewy Foods Chewy foods, like candies and gum, can increase discomfort by putting additional pressure on your braces. Avoiding these foods can help reduce the risk of ongoing pain.

Practise Good Oral Hygiene

Regular brushing and proper oral care is crucial to reducing further pain and ensuring successful treatment. Chat to your orthodontist and follow their instructions for the best results.


When to Seek Professional Help

If the pain is too intense or prolongs for several weeks, it’s important to seek professional help. Additionally, reach out and talk to your orthodontist if any issues with the braces persist.

By following these tips and techniques, you can effectively relieve pain from braces. Remember that everyone’s experience is unique, so what works for one person may not work for another. Chat to your orthodontist for personal advice and solutions to ensure a comfortable braces journey.

For a personalised and caring approach to your orthodontic care, speak with us at Orthoclinic Specialist Orthodontics in Canberra. Orthoclinic offers a range of orthodontic treatments, including coloured metal braces, clear braces, Invisalign, invisible lingual braces, plates, and early interceptive treatment. Orthoclinic Specialist Orthodontics will give you a reason to smile throughout your braces journey.

Managing Discomfort From Braces

Posted by in Treatment