How To Lessen Discomfort From Braces

Posted on: 9 March 2021

If your teeth are misaligned, you may be excited about the prospect of having braces. Nevertheless, if you have heard rumors that the braces may hurt, you may also be feeling a bit uncertain about the orthodontic treatment.

Here is a bit of information about the discomfort that may occur while wearing braces and how to alleviate it.

Do Braces Cause Pain?

At the beginning of your treatment, you may notice that your mouth feels mildly uncomfortable or sore. This discomfort is due to the adjustment of your teeth and the soft tissues of your oral cavity to the new appliance.

How to Lessen the Discomfort of the Teeth

Once the braces are applied, the teeth may feel as though they are being squeezed. This feeling of tightness subsides over time. However, to alleviate the uncomfortable sensation during the adjustment process, try the following:

  • Select softer foods. The mastication of soft foods tends to apply less pressure on the teeth. Harder items require a greater amount of bite pressure and may prolong the discomfort. 
  • Choose colder foods. Thermal wires are sometimes used with braces. The wires are more pliable at cooler temperatures, allowing the orthodontist to easily apply them at room temperature. However, as the warmth of the oral cavity activates the wires, the components reshape, applying more pressure to the teeth. Eating colder foods can reduce the rigidity of the wires when the braces are feeling uncomfortably tight.  
  • Take over-the-counter pain relievers. Pain relievers, such as acetaminophen and ibuprofen, can help reduce the discomfort from the braces.

How to Lessen Soft Tissue Discomfort

The soft tissues of your mouth, such as the tongue and cheeks, may experience irritation and sores as they rub against the brackets and wires. Here are a few ways to alleviate the discomfort:

  • Wax the appliance. Your orthodontist may provide you with wax to apply to the wires and brackets in areas where the appliance rubs against your soft oral tissues. The wax acts as a barrier between the tissues and the appliance, reducing friction and discomfort.
  • Apply topical analgesics. Gel medicines used to numb uncomfortable areas in the mouth can be applied to reduce the pain of any inflamed areas.

If you are planning to have your teeth treated with braces and have questions or concerns about the discomfort that the orthodontic treatment may cause, schedule a consultation with an orthodontist in your local area.