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The 7 Must Know Techniques To Braces Pain Relief

When most people think about having braces, the first thing they imagine is the immense pain associated with it. Some people even think that they will have to use a straw to take their meals every day! Well while this might be possible in cartoons and movies, it almost always never happens in real life. You see, the act of getting braces itself is not painful, so get that image out of your head!

Once braces are fitted, people usually experience discomfort for the first few days because the teeth and mouth have not gotten used to having them. The discomfort usually goes away after a few days or at most one week.

People having braces do sometimes have pain or discomfort in their mouths but this is mainly due to the sores and discomfort caused by the braces rubbing against the cheeks, teeth and lips. When this happens, there are various quick ways to make sure the discomfort goes away:

braces pain relief

1. Taking Pain Relief Medication

This is the most obvious solution. Taking pain killers such as ibuprofen and acetaminophen can help to relieve pain in the jaws and gums. This deep pain is normally brought about by the gradual shifting of one’s teeth as they get used to the new braces.
Pain relievers are not the best solution however as they can be addictive. They are still recommendable if your doctor prescribes adequate amounts for a short period of time.

2. Eating Cold or Frozen Treats

Yes, you heard me right, eat as much cold treats as you like! Now, I’m pretty sure the kids love hearing this, so let me explain to the worried grownups how this actually works; frozen treats help to numb the teeth and any area in the mouth and cheeks where there might be sores. This acts as a quick relief and even helps treat swollen gums.

3. Using the Orthodontist Wax

tooth and braces painMost orthodontists give their patients a special wax after they fit them with braces. Applying this wax to the teeth, braces and gums greatly helps to reduce discomfort caused by the braces.

So, how does this magic wax work?

Well, when the braces are fitted, you might feel a protruding arch wire that is scratching the inner part of your mouth. The wax helps to reduce the friction between the brace, teeth and gums.  This helps you to be able to use your mouth without much discomfort.

4. Rising with Warm Salt Water

The other quick pain remedy is to use rinse with simple warm salt water. Salt has natural curing properties so next time you are going to have your braces adjusted, just gurgle some salt water. Salt water also helps to heal the sores, cuts and ulceration in your inner mouth and gums. So whenever you feel any discomfort, just rinse your mouth with salt water to hasten the healing process.

5. Massaging Your Gums

This is another effective brace pain remedy and the best thing about it is that you don’t even have to go to a masseuse to get it done! Just use one of your fingers to gently rub around your gums. For better results, stroke the gums with a block of ice before massaging them. This will help to relax swollen gums.

6. Practicing Better Dental Hygiene

Believe it or not, most pain experienced by people having braces is caused by poor dental hygiene! As a reminder to all brace wearers: when you have braces, cleaning your teeth alone just isn’t enough; you also have to thoroughly clean your braces!

You see, braces have rough edges that hide dental plaque. With time, the braces accumulate enough plaque that can cause dental conditions such as dental caries. So, to avoid this, always remember to brush your teeth after every meal, clean your braces well, floss regularly and use mouthwash.

7. Chewing More

That’s right chew a little bit more. Chewing helps to exercise your mouth increasing the blood flow to supporting structures in around the teeth. This in turn helps to heal the sores and lesions in your mouth reducing the associated discomfort. Care should however be taken to ensure brace wearers only chew soft materials that will not cause decay to the teeth such as sugar-free gum or Twizzlers.

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{ 38 comments… add one }

  • These are all great ways to help braces-wearers feel better. The cold food not only helps sore gums feel better, it also slows down the movement of high-tech arch-wires, made from NASA-developed metal alloys that actually respond to the warmth of your mouth. No wonder a cold smoothie makes braces-wearers happy!

    • Leslie

      Doesn’t that mean that you have reduced or eliminated the effectiveness of the braces?

      • admin

        Hi, Leslie!
        These recommendations mostly natural and don’t interfere the braces (in case they’re properly installed of course) and don’t eliminate/reduce their effectiveness. Some other technics like pain relief medications or use of orthodontic wax it’s better to consult your orthodontist about.

  • I tried all 7 of theses but nothing worked

    • Hi, Diana!
      I’m so sorry to hear that. I will think of more techniques to braces pain relief and post them here. Meantime you can drink more liquids like soups and warm milk as it will enhance your blood circulation. If your braces have hooks, make sure you wear braces bands so that hooks will not dig into the skin. Use a soft thoothbrushes and toothpaste for sensitive teeth, brush gently. Rinse your mouth with hydrogen peroxide for 2-3 times a day and every day untill you’ll feel better. Mix one part of hydrogen peroxide and one part of water and swish in your mouth for one minute. Try special teething rings, cool them in freezer and after that chew on them gently. Check braces with your orthodontist again to make sure that the fitment of the braces is correct. I hope it helps. Thanks.

      • Cherela

        What are braces bands,Na’s mentioned in your reply to Diana?

        • Cherela Hi,
          Braces bands I mentioned in my answer to Diana are also called rubber bands or elastics. Those bands connect the teeth (lower and upper teeth or front and back teeth) by being attached to the hooks/brackets on them. Those help move the teeth in the correct position. Rubber bands come in variety of colors. You can almost always get those free from your dentist’s or orthodontist’s office. It is important to follow the directions you get from your orthodontist about the exact way you should be wearing the rubber bands. Wearing the bands the wrong way will do more damage than good. You can read more about rubber bands here. Thank you for your question. Hope I managed to clarify my previous answer.

  • Harry Malee

    thanks! helped a lot!

  • Xmdxx

    I just had my braces and they really hurt tell me how to stop the pain
    I ate ice and I ate Tylenol nothing happened

    • Hi!
      Sorry for the late reply! Hope you feeling better by now. Did you try all the other techniques I listed? Please share what helped you relieve the pain at the end.

  • Macy hare

    None worked and the pain is unbearable

    • Hi, Macy Hare!

      Take a look on additional techniques at the comment section above that I wrote as an answer to Diana. If those will not help, try to place a heating pad on the jaw. Alternatively, you can place a warm washcloth. Do this several times a day. If all these won’t help, visit your orthodontist again. Ask your orthodontist to losen your braces as much as possible, maybe they’re too tight. If you feel that the cause of your pain can be the short ends of wires on the braces (in case you have this type of braces) that will protrude and rub against the inside of your cheek, ask your orthodontist to snip the ends off of these wires. Ask for prescription strength medication like stronger dose of ibuprofen or other stronger medications. Orthodontst can reccommend you a bite wafer to reduce a pain too. You bite on it for a few minutes several times every hour and that technique helps generate blood circulation in your gums, which can ease pain. As general some pain is expected when braces are first put on your teeth, but in your case when pain is unbearable as you said and all the techniques above didn’t help, I’d again advice you to visit your orthodontist. Please share with us what recommendation he/she gave you and if it helped.


  • olivia

    Which one works the best!!! i am dying here!!!!

    • Hello, Olivia!

      This is not something clearly defined. Some methods can help to somebody while the same methods will not help to somebody else. It’s trial and error. Start from the simplest and natural methods first. If nothing helps, visit your orthodontist again. Braces can be very uncomfortable and painful especially in the first few days. Small tip – avoid hard foods or anything that requires a lot of chewing, as it will be a very painful meal. Mash up all your food, using a food masher or just a fork. Hope it helps.


  • Walter Johnson

    Braces make my jaws ache all the time, I read that taking tylenol is a bit better than taking advil, but I still feel a dull pain. The most relief for me is from warmth, the easiest way is heating a bag of rice in the microwave and holding it against the jaw for relief. Sinking up to your jaws in a hot bathtub works too. My dentist said not to chew any kind of gum because it’ll stick into your braces.

  • rebecca

    I have haf braces for a couple of days now and there is constant pain and whatever i do nothing seems to work i have tryed everything and it id preventing me from sleeping.

    • Hello, Rebecca!
      I’m so sorry to hear that! Usually the pain is caused from the pressure of the braces on the teeth and usually it’s only a problem for one or two weeks after the treatment starts. Take heart, it will pass! Did you try over the counter medications like Advil or Tylenol? It may help. You can try various braces pain relief products like these here: But if you said you tried all the possible things and pain still persists for couple of days now, maybe it’s better to visit your orthodontist again and make a needed adjustments. Let your orthodontist see if there are no problems and if the braces can be loosened slightly. Please let us know how are you feeling now and what helped you to reduce your pain. Thank you!

  • Mia

    I’ve had braces for about two days now. My teeth are hurting so bad I have tried all of the directions and nothing works. Please help me

    • Hello, Mia!

      Try over the counter medications like Advil, Tylenol 3, Motrin or Orajel. Orajel numbs your teeth and gums for fast but short relief. The pain should go away within a week or even couple of days. Sometimes it just because you touch them, try not to touch the braces. The discomfort associated with braces is usually because of chewing too, so it’s recommended eating soft foods and avoiding hard or chewy foods at these times after getting braces. However I saw many orthodontists actually recommend chewing soft, sugarless chewing gum. They claimed that although the teeth are tender when you first start chewing, you’ll notice that they’ll start feeling better faster than if you just grin and bear it. If all these above don’t help, visit your orthodontist again or call her/him for advice please.

      Hope it helps.
      Thank you!

  • Hi, I’ve had a fixed top and bottom brace for two days now and no matter what I do the pain never seems to waver I have tried some of the above but most are unsuccessful. I’m in agony to the point of not being able to sleep properly! Was wondering if you had anymore tips on what to do? It would be much appreciated.

    • Alyssa Hi,

      I am sorry to hear that you are suffering and the above solutions don’t work for you. You can try an oral anesthetic – it comes in a form of gel and can be applied directly to your gums. It will reduce the pain for a while. Do not drink acidic drinks as those tend to make the pain worse. Besides eating frozen treats you can also try chewing on frozen teeth rings. Those are especially designed to reduce this kind of pain. You put those in a freezer and then slightly chew on them in the painful areas of your mouth. Hope some of those will help you overcome the pain. Please share with us how you are handling the pain and what made it easier for you. Thank you!

  • Thanks a lot I have had braces for a few months now but today I went and had chains put on. They also added brackets too the veery back of my teeth and it is very annoying. I am not able to close my mouth too where my teeth touch. What do u recommend for me so that it won’t be as annoying?
    Please help

    • Angel Hi,
      What you are describing is a common problem for many people who have braces. It will get better. It is uncomfortable but you will get used to it in time. You might need to readjust the way you chew. Try to stick with softer food for a while. Try to chew slowly. You might need to move your upper teeth a bit forward to make it easier to chew. Some say that chewing sideways at first was easier. Ice cream and other frozen treats should lessen the discomfort. Hope you will find some of the tips helpful.

  • Bri

    I just got a powerchain yesterday and it hurts like crazy!I have tried pain meds, salt in warm water, and massaging my gums. None of this has worked! Please give me some proved helpful tips!

    • Hi Bri,
      Sorry to hear that you are in such pain. As time goes by you will start to feel better. It sometimes takes only few days and in other cases up to few weeks for the pain to go away. It is all worth it at the end. Since each case is different, it is hard to suggest a treatment that will eliminate all pain for all cases. Try drinking more liquids and eat softer food. Pain relief medication helps in the majority of cases. If the pain is so hard that the medications don’t do the job it might be a good idea to contact your orthodontist about it. Please go through the comments above for additional ways to reduce the pain. Hope some of them will be helpful to you. Please share with us how you are doing and what helped you handle the pain. Thank You!

  • Emiyah

    My teeth are hurting like crazy!!!!!! Just got braces last night and SOOOO painful. It is 3 in the morning and I can’t get back to bed because they hurt!!! What can I do

    • Emiyah Hi,
      I am sorry to hear you are in pain. I am not sure which techniques , if any, you have already tried. Try rising your mouth with warm salt water. Frozen treats often help to reduce the pain. Many people say that putting a warm pad against the jaw is helpful. You will find more options in the article and the comments above. Hope that you will feel better very soon.

  • Elizabeth

    I am looking for pain control for braces. The little bit of pain when the teeth move around can easily be fixed with tylenol, but my problem is the chafing of the braces against the lips and inside cheek tissues. I use wax, saltwater, chewing etc. it helps but there are periods when I do not have the wax and nothing seems to work. My lips are bruised and swollen, and so is the inside cheek tissue. 6 tylenols a day barely make a dent. I cannot take NSAIDs as they give me instant bleeding ulcers. Peroxide rinses feel good for 5 minutes and of course prevent infection. Nobody in my orthodontist office is interested in pain control, they will not even use lidocain gel on my gums when I ask for it. They have no suggestions other than what you mention, and that is not enough, and I have never encountered anyone in the medical field less interested in pain control than the orthodontists I meet. Are orthodontists not qualified to write prescriptions?

    • Elizabeth Hi,
      I was about to suggest salt water rinses and hydrogen peroxide rinses, but I see you already tried those. Those are the main methods I would usually suggest to help ease the discomfort caused by the sores.
      There are additional commercial products that might be helpful for lip protection. Lip protection strips (ComfortBrace for example) – those are almost invisible and can cover the brackets so those will not cause any irritation. You say that dental wax does help you. If so, it is best to make sure you always have it with you. It is available in most drug stores. Among dental products aimed at helping with the discomfort caused by braces, you can also find braces relief pocket kits. Those are small, can fit in almost any pocket or purse, so you can always have them with you. Those usually contain braces guards, dental wax and a gel that helps relieve the pain.
      Orthodontists are qualified to prescribe medications. If the meds do not do the job, it is important to get the orthodontist re-examine your mouth. There might be a problem that needs to be treated by a professional. Thank you for your question. I hope you feel better soon.

  • Nisa

    Hi, my teeth getting hurt tooo muchhh !!! But then, I tried to drink cold water and gurgle with Listerine, It’s working ! But not in a long time.

    • Nisa Hi,
      I am glad to hear that you found a way to manage the pain. The pain as a result of braces doesn’t usually last too long . Hope you feel better soon.

  • Joe

    Hi, my orthodontist said that some over the counter medications interfere with the process, as they are aimed to reduce the swelling, and since the swelling process is part of the bone reshaping, the frequent use of pain medications may slow down the progress of one’s treatment.
    Have you heard about that?
    So I’ve been away from pain medications (I don’t have much any way, and devoting my time to absorbing tasks helps me ignore the pain).

    By the way, have you Heard of someone developing bruxism after getting braces?
    I’ve found myself clenching the jaw (which I never did before) and I believe that may cause most of my soreness.

    • Hello, Joe!

      Thank you for your questions!

      Yes, I’ve heard about that phenomenon. Using OTC non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications such as aspirin, ibuprofen and naproxen is probably the most common way that orthodontic patients use to reduce the discomfort associated with the inflammatory process.The chemicals in those medications can pass through blood stream and interact with local cells when reaching the mechanically stressed tissues. Although taking those meds is the most popular method of releiving pain it might slow down the rate of orthodontic tooth movement. If you want to read a more detailed scientific explanation please check here: The effects of over-the-counter analgesics on orthodontic tooth movement.

      I think you’re doing a right thing by staying away from pain medications. I understand that it might be very difficult sometimes. You can try some of the natural methods we listed in the above article and in the comment section below it as answers to our readers questions.

      As for your other question about developing bruxism after getting braces, may I ask you if you have had a bruxism before getting braces? People with bite problems may get braces, but the reduction in bruxism may be temporary and reappear after treatment. Usually people get braces because of bruxism. Once the teeth start moving, bruxism would usually stop. It doesn’t happen for everyone and Yes, sometimes people will develop bruxism after getting braces. I think the personal consultation with your orthodontist may help. Hope it helps.

  • I got damon braces on my two back teeth, its been days n my cheeks are stick to them n it hurts . I cant even eat properly because my check hurts . any idea what should I do? thankyou

    • Ridzie Hi,
      Sorry for the late reply. I hope that you are no longer in pain. If you are still experiencing the discomfort in your cheeks because of the braces, there are few things you can do to reduce the irritation. 1. Use Dental Wax: Break small part of the dental wax, form a small ball and apply it on the metal parts of the braces that cause the irritation. That will create a sort of protective barrier between the brackets and your cheeks. 2. Mouth sore rinses and gels such as Rincinol, Canker-X and others. Those are applied directly on the inner mouth and create a protective layer by calming your mouth sores. The general braces pain relief home remedy methods discussed in the article and the comments above might also be some help to you. I hope you will get used to your braces soon and it will no longer be painful to wear them.

  • helpmeiminpain

    I have been given a gel by my dentist, and I have tried putting it on the wire of my braces but it wouldn’t work. The gel looks a bit like hot glue, and I was wondering if I was suppose to melt it or something first?

    • Hi,
      I am sorry to hear you are in pain. Hopefully, the pain will go away shortly. I am not sure what exactly you received from your dentists. It most likely was Dental Wax. It is applied on the metal parts of braces to reduce the friction. There is no need to do any special melting. Just break a little piece and hold it in your hands for a short while. It will become warmer and softer. Roll a small ball of wax and press it on the bracket. Rub it with you fingers to make sure it sticks. Do it for all the areas that cause mouth irritation. Hope it helps and you feel better soon.

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