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:
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
Most 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.