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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!

braces pain relief

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

painkillers for braces

This is the most obvious solution. Taking painkillers 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

frozen treats for braces

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 each adjustment appointment.

Wax for braces * provides a kind of barrier between the inside part of the lips and cheeks and the bracket of the braces. This barrier prevents irritating your gums as well.

Applying orthodontic wax to the teeth, braces and gums greatly helps to reduce discomfort caused by the braces.

tooth and braces pain

So, how does this magic wax work?

buy from amazon

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. 

Break off some wax from its container and squish some with your fingers to form a small mold. Place this mold directly on whatever bracket causes irritation. Don’t worry if you accidentally swallow some of it since dental wax is not toxic. Remember to take off this wax mold before brushing and flossing your teeth. Applying more wax right after a meal is recommended after your initial applications have broken down over time as wax tends to do.

4. Rinsing 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!

Braces and other dental implements attract stains from chewing food and drinking beverages which can build up plaque in the teeth and stain them.

This is the reason why a majority of orthodontists strongly advice on brushing and flossing immediately after meals to remove food particles which may have stuck in your teeth.

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.

How to Brush Teeth with Braces Correctly

Use a toothpaste with fluoride and/or a mouthwash with fluoride as one of its main ingredients to rinse out food articles and act as a safeguard for those places in your mouth and teeth which a toothbrush may find hard to reach.

  • Brush EACH tooth with braces from the top down and up from the bottom carefully and gently.
  • After you have brushed ALL of your teeth with braces, use an interproximal brush *. Insert this down starting from the top and then going up from the bottom between two of the braces.
  • Make sure that you use several brushing strokes toward each direction before you move on to a next space between two of the braces.
  • Repeat this procedure until ALL of your teeth have been thoroughly cleaned.
girl wearing braces

Here is a step-by-step guide for effective flossing when you have braces:

  • Feed the floss’ short end through that space between your teeth’s uppermost portion closest to your gum and the main arch wire of your braces.
  • Using a gentle sawing-like motion, work the dental floss on each of the side of those two teeth where the floss is in between.
  • Remember not to use force around the arch wire of your braces.

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.

Foods to Avoid

Those who wear braces can still eat the foods they enjoy by cutting them into small portions or pieces to make chewing easier. There are certain foods, however, which need to be avoided altogether:

  • Tough-textured foods and those with hard surfaces such as bagels, hard rolls, and apples.
  • Sticky foods which need to be chewed thoroughly before swallowing like caramel soft candy and taffy.
  • Corn that is on the cob (slice off the kernels from the cob to enjoy corn).
  • Snacks items such as nuts, hard variety pretzels, raw carrots, and popcorn.
  • Ice cubes.
  • Bubble gum and chewing gum.
  • Beef jerky and ribs (take off the meat from the bones and you can eat them).
  • Chicken wings (cut off the meat from off bones if you want).
  • Pizza crusts, pickles, and fruit roll-ups.
foods to avoid for braces

Avoiding Injuries by Wearing Mouthguards

Wearing braces and engaging in sports can be a cause for injury. This is why mouthguards for braces is necessary for protection in contact sports such as basketball, boxing, wrestling, lacrosse, field and ice hockey, volleyball, football, and baseball. Even participation in non-contact athletics such as mountain biking, badminton, gymnastics, skateboarding, and tennis may pose risks of mouth injury.

The type of mouthguard – customized by a dentist or the usual boil and bite — will depend on the kind of sport you plan to engage in. Molded mouthguards by dentists tend to be expensive; the purchase of a generic mouthguard which you can mold yourself may be a cheaper option. You may also want to consider mouthguards in wider versions and double mouthguards in boil and bite and flexible varieties.

mouthguards for braces


On a final note, remember that you will always need fluoride protection against cavities. When you wear braces, the risk of tooth decay may become higher since it is really so much harder to maintain clean teeth with braces on.

Ask your orthodontist for additional protection in the form of products which boost fluoride supply to your teeth while you’re wearing braces such as those that are capable of repairing early cavities in the roots of your teeth.

If you liked our article, please share it and use the comment section below to tell us about your experiences or ask any questions. Thanks!

  • 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 says:

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

      • admin says:

        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.

  • Diana says:

    I tried all 7 of theses but nothing worked

    • Daniel says:

      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 says:

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

        • Daniel says:

          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 says:

    thanks! helped a lot!

  • Xmdxx says:

    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

    • Daniel says:

      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 says:

    None worked and the pain is unbearable

    • Daniel says:

      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 says:

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

    • Daniel says:

      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.


      • Leah says:

        Wait, I thought one of the ways on the list was to chew more. My teeth really hurt I can’t even go to sleep. I just got a retainer and it’s unbearable.

        • Susan says:

          Hey Leah!

          This is a tough situation. If your teeth are hurting that much that is difficult to sleep, you need to talk to your orthodontist about the problem. While retainers and braces may be uncomfortable for most people, it should not cause severe pain.

          Try to avoid crunchy or hard foods, such as raw vegetables and chips, and opt for more soft foods. Choose smoothies, yogurt, soups, pudding and mashed potatoes meantime. After the pain subsides, you can resume your normal eating habits. You can also try a local anesthetic over-the-counter gels, such as Orabase *, Orajel * or Anbesol *. They form a protective barrier to help orthodontic and denture irritations. Use a cotton swab or your finger to apply the numbing gel to the areas of discomfort.

          Hope it helps.

    • Hayden says:

      I found that massaging your gums works the best for me

  • Walter Johnson says:

    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 says:

    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.

    • Daniel says:

      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: http://www.dentakit.com/brhutr.html. 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 says:

    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

    • Daniel says:

      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!

  • Alyssa says:

    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.

    • Daniel says:

      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

    • Daniel says:

      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 says:

    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!

    • Daniel says:

      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 says:

    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

    • Daniel says:

      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.

    • Alex Wilson says:

      Hi !

      I hate that your mouth hurts right now. I got my braces about 9 months ago. The pain will probably last for about 2 weeks , but it should lessen each day. Ask your orthodontist if he/ she can recommend some painkillers. also try the methods listed above, I got a power chain put in yesterday, and those are to pull gaps closed. Now those hurt, but it makes the braces treatment go quicker. I have another year to go with my braces. eventually you will get used to the pain. Good Luck!

  • Elizabeth says:

    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?

    • Daniel says:

      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 says:

    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.

    • Daniel says:

      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 says:

    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.

    • Daniel says:

      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.

  • Ridzie says:

    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

    • Daniel says:

      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 says:

    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?

    • Daniel says:


      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.

  • Tammie says:

    This is very helpful information! I’m going to try the salt-water rinse!!

  • Kali says:

    Hi just got braces 2 days ago and I have tried medication and it isn’t working any other ideas besides medication thank you

    • Daniel says:

      Kali Hi,

      Congratulations on getting braces! I am sorry to hear that you are currently suffering from pain and that the medication didn’t work. The good news is that the pain usually does not last for a long period of time and you will get used to wearing braces very soon. There are different things you can try to reduce the pain: rinsing your with salted water, eating cold treats, massaging the gums, holding warm compress aginst the jaw. More pain relief methods are mentioned in the post above and in the comment section as well. Each case is different some methods might work for you while others may no be effective. You will probably have to try few of them until you find the one that is right for.

      Hope it helps and that you feel better soon.

  • Miranda says:

    Hi, I’ve had braces on for over a year and I went back yesterday to get them tightened and they hurt and they are sore, they put some new wires put in I’ve tried rubbing my gums, taking Advil and tyolnel, and I have tried eating soft foods, I also sleep on my back at night too but nothing seems to help so what do I do?

    • Susan says:

      Hi, Miranda!

      Thanks for asking!

      A little pain when your dentist tightens your braces is normal. This usually lasts a few hours to a few days. Simple OTC pain relievers should take care of it. However, you are describing something more. This sounds like a real pain. There are options.

      First, you can drug yourself to the nines and just put up with it. (Not what I would do, but an option).

      Second, you could call your dentist and tell them you need to readjust. This will allow you to talk about how much of an adjustment was done and why you need the change. This could affect your braces schedule for the next 1-2 years, so we really do recommend you talk to your dentist.

      Third, you could get a second opinion. Seeing another dentist or orthodontist could tell you if a problem was created with the last tightening. We don’t think this should be your first step since most dentists talk to each other in an area. Your current dentist could take offense and that’s never a pleasant situation. But, if you don’t get satisfaction when you see your dentist and it still hurts, then we recommend getting a second opinion.

      Some home remedies that have worked for pain include using a high-quality clove oil (not essential oil) right on the affected area. Research shows it can dampen the pain and help your gum fight inflammation.

      Swishing salt water around your mouth will help reduce any infection and may give you minor pain relief.
      A warm rag that’s been soaked in a very strong peppermint tea helps reduce pain and inflammation. Place it over your jaw and let it work its magic.

  • theresa says:

    Hi, my orthodontist put white filling on top of my bottom molars to have as a spacer. What are some good chewing techniques or exercises? I am so irritated whenever in eat it’s a task that is unpleasant.

    • Susan says:

      Hi, Theresa!

      Thanks for asking this question.

      First, have you talked to your dentist about this? When the dentist puts in a filling, they are supposed to shape it so that it does not interfere with normal chewing. You should be able to eat normally within a day of normal dental work. If it is interfering, then they should fix the problem with no charge to you.

      Do you know why they added the spacer? Many times, it’s because there is a problem in the mouth that needs to be fixed. By finding ways around the spacer, you could make an unknown issue worse.

      There are typical adjustments that you can try: chewing on the other side, using your tongue to mash food and move it around, or pureeing your food and drinking it.

      As for the spacer, your dentist should be the one to fix it. If it’s being used as a spacer, then whatever is going to be in space will be done soon. You just may need to wait it out. If it was work that was done faulty, get them to fix it.

  • Emmeline says:

    Hi, i got my braces yesterday and i cannot take this pain annymore! It fustrates me and doesnt let me have any sleep (thats why im writing this comment at 4:11 am). I’ve tried most of your tricks but its not helping.. Do you have anymore tips to tell me? Thank you

    • Daniel says:

      Hello Emmeline!

      I am sorry for not replying right away. I hope that by now you are feeling great and all the pain and discomfort are behind you.

      When you get braces or have them adjusted, it is common to have few days of discomfort while you get used to them. However, you should not be in so much pain that a simple aspirin cannot give you respite.

      If you are in this level of pain, I recommend visiting the emergency room of a hospital, or if you can wait, be at your dentist’s office right when they open.

      Pain to the point of distraction is not normal for braces. It is a sign something is not aligned correctly. Remember, a different of a hair’s-width can mean pain or no pain. It could just take a simple adjustment to relieve yourself of pain.

      If you don’t find comfort from your dentist, get a second opinion. Many dentists will help you out because they truly want to help people.

  • Joyce says:

    Hi I’ve had my braces for a while now and just recently I’ve had elastics but they cause me so much pain, even at night they stop me from going to sleep. I’ve also tried eating soft foods, taken painkillers and all that but they don’t work. Any tips?

    • Susan says:

      Hi Joyce!

      I’m glad you shared.

      Like many people before you, adjustment to your new fixtures takes a little time. You should expect to have some discomfort.

      However, you should not be in pain. This is a sign that the adjustment or change did not work like it was supposed to. If you do not receive relief from the pain with simple painkillers or it is disrupting your ability to eat or drink, you need to visit your dentist again soon.

      Sometimes, the issue is as simple as reducing the change. But, there is always the possibility something is going wrong and your dentist needs to check it out.

  • REBEKAH says:

    Hi everyone
    I get excruciating pain every month for several days around my cycle and also right before my next Ortho. I never get pain after the ortho always before. I assume the white brackets which move slower are part of the problem with my teeth procrastinating. I hate drugs I’m scared of coffee much less pills but the only thing that works is vicodin and I doubt you will get it for braces. A lot of orthos don’t understand how bad the pain is for some. My teeth weren’t even bad and my pain tolerance is high which is why I have the pills from surgeries and car accidents where I was prescribed but felt the pain was tolerable. My braces pain is not tolerable. I do not recommend braces to anyone I truly dont. Sorry for the bad news I was talked into getting them for my bite which got messed up by wisdom teeth but it wasn’t that bad I would not get them again!

    • Susan says:

      Hi Rebekah!

      Thank you for your comment.

      Many people feel pain.
      As for why you are getting pain prior to your appointment and adjustment… that’s a mystery. While most people will dismiss it as anticipation of your appointment, be persistent in talking with your dentist about it. It is possible that it is in your head, but it is equally possible there is a physical problem causing it.

      We know when people have their braces adjusted, the sudden pull on the teeth causes pain. It could be your teeth are naturally moving and prior to your adjustment; your teeth are pulling on the braces. That could cause pain. Discuss this with your dentist and make sure they check it out.

      Why do you get pain around your cycle? That’s easy. For many women, aches and pains are common. We retain fluid, have inflammation and swelling, and general fatigue. It’s all the hormonal changes we go through. Now, if this is causing you pain, not just aches, you should visit a gynecologist to determine if your hormones are excessive or unbalanced. This could cause pain.

      Certain foods, like wheat, breads, pastas, and soy, can increase the level of retained fluid and inflammation. Avoiding these foods a week prior to your cycle could reduce the irritation.

      A level of pain that causes life disruption is not normal for braces. While most people do feel discomfort with braces, it should never be pain. You should not need Vicodin, one of the strongest pain relievers in the world, to fight the pain. Like you, we highly doubt your dentist will provide you this medication.

      We recommend talking to your dentist about your pain. People who experience this level of pain often have something slightly wrong with their braces. It could be something easily fixed (it often is). But, you need to communicate with your dentist about it.

      Many dentists and orthodontists have had braces and know what to expect. They often found a love of dentistry through having problems of their own. I’ll have to disagree with you that they don’t understand. I feel they really do know what is happening from having lived through it themselves.

      If your dentist recommends braces, don’t avoid it because of anticipated pain. The vast majority of people never experience pain. The promise of healthy, straight teeth make the little bits of discomfort well worth it.

  • Skye says:

    I got my braces on Friday and my gUms are all ripped open. How can I prevent this or even stop it apart from using the wax

    • Susan says:

      Hi Skye!

      We’re sorry to hear about your problems.

      In the process of getting braces, your gums will be injured. It happens with how much work is being done.

      Now, you should not be experiencing cuts and tears once the braces are in place. If that is happening, you need to talk to your dentist immediately. It means there are pieces of your braces that are too big, too sharp, or just plain wrong.

      If your braces are truly causing pain and injury, you need your dentist. Using wax or preventative measures may help for a little while, but you don’t want to use them for the 2-3 years you will have the braces.

      Of course, accidents will happen over time. There are retainers and mouth guards designed for braces that will help stop your braces from rubbing against your gums during sports, music, or other activities. We recommend getting those as soon as possible.

  • KIA says:

    I just got my braces 3 days ago and my upper left side molar tooth (the last one beside the band) is aching and it feels like it’s going to fall or break and it doesn’t even have a bracket or something there that’s why i’m really worried. The upper right side molar tooth beside the band is not aching tho, is it normal or? I feel really anxious about my braces and the pain that i’m feeling right now.

    • Susan says:

      Hi Kia!

      I’m glad you brought this up. I’m not glad it is happening to you.

      This is a serious situation and you require a dentist. We recommend you call one as soon as possible.

      Your braces should not be causing any movement in your teeth that could be viewed as them falling out or breaking. They should not cause severe pain, nor bleeding.

      If you feel like your tooth is loose or coming out, a dentist is absolutely required to help save your tooth.

      Once you see your dentist, describe what you feel and the level of pain. The dentist should then adjust your braces to match your needs and tolerances.

      Please let us know what is happening, so we can help others that may be in a similar situation.

  • Harshal Deore says:

    Even my orthodontist haven’t explained such beautiful and important things..thanks for shearing helped a lot…

  • Nithya says:

    Hi I’ve had a fixed top brace for two days now I got a swallon cheek and it is hurting me a lot what can I do for that

    • Susan says:

      Hi Nithya!

      I’m glad you asked! I am really sorry to hear you are in pain.

      If there was an injury to the inside of your cheek, then it will be sensitive and swollen. Taking pain relievers, using ice, and the other recommendations we have here will work to help you.

      If the swelling does not go away in 3 days from the original injury, something else might be happening. It could be that the braces are rubbing continuously and need to be adjusted. At this point, you need to visit your dentist to know what is happening.

      While it is common to have an injury like this when you have an adjustment, it is not common to have it persist. Only your dentist will be able to determine what happened.

  • Anonymous says:

    I have braces, and I think that your theory about the pain is completely and totally wrong. I rarely experience pain from the braces rubbing somewhere. It hurts because your teeth move. And they move fast. And they aren’t supposed to. So your gums hurt. I won’t wear wax, that won’t help, and I won’t chew more. Chewing hurts. Touching my teeth at all hurts. And I have had my braces for MONTHS. Pain doesn’t come from not being used to them, or from rubbing against your lip and cheek. It comes from the movement, and it hurts again almost every time your braces get adjusted.

    • Susan says:


      You are partially right. Yes, you can get pain from your teeth moving, but that mostly happens if your dentist is moving your teeth too fast. Proper braces motion entails virtually microscopic motions with each adjustment. The order is often on the tenths of a micron. Some people can feel this change, some people can’t.

      The tension on teeth is mostly felt in the first two weeks after braces are placed.

      Soreness will most likely accompany every adjustment. Many people experience rubbing on the inside of the cheek. It is well documented and with a simple web search, you can find pictures and documents showing this is a very common problem. You are fortunate that it has not happened to you.

      The pain of chewing and touching, well, that’s not normal and you should be checked out. Braces should not interfere with your ability to chew foods or speak. In fact, you should chew your food more because of the chances larger particles could get stuck in your teeth and cause damage. Perhaps your braces are not aligned properly, and that’s why you have pain.

      And, your teeth are supposed to move your entire life. Your jaw and gums are active, living organisms that grow, flex, and shrink depending on diet, activity level, and age. While the motion isn’t large, it does happen. If our teeth never moved after we grow up, wisdom teeth would not be an issue. Yet, a huge portion of the population needs surgery to remove or adjust wisdom teeth so they do not damage the rest of the mouth.

      Also, the inside of each tooth is a flexible, ever growing tissue filled with blood vessels and nerves. As these are grown and age, the tooth adjusts to the different placements of these microscopic vessels.

      Finally, take a look at tooth replacement. If the teeth were not dynamic, you could not replace a tooth with an implant. This growth to hold onto the tooth is motion at its fastest.

  • Sam says:

    So I have had braces for about 4 months with hardly any pain that wasn’t expected. Now however, when I wake up from sleeping I have noticed that the inside of my cheeks are unusually raw at the very back corners. I haven’t ever had this before so I don’t know if it is a cause of the way I am sleeping or something else. I put the dental wax on but I can’t seem to keep up with the braces rubbing my cheeks raw at night and all day. It has gotten to the point where it hurts to open my jaw or smile as both of those motions rub against the braces causing more pain. What should I do?

    • Susan says:

      Hey Sam! Let’s take a see what we can do.

      When you experience sudden changes like that, it’s a sign your last adjustment didn’t quite go right. The rubbing could be just a minute change in the wires and clamps. It could also be the last adjustment caused the smallest bit of irritation to your jaw muscles, which is causing you to sleep differently.

      As the wires and other bits rub against your cheeks, the irritation will get worse. You are making tiny cuts in your cheek, and then adding more before the first ones are healed. It will get worse, unless you do something to stop the damage.

      We recommend you visit you dentist and talk to them about what is happening and what to do to prevent future problems. Knowing you have problems will help your dentist better know what to do during the next adjustment. And if you don’t like your dentist’s answer, or don’t think they gave you due consideration, you are free to obtain a second opinion.

  • Smita says:

    I am feeling uncomfortable after wearing this…it is really very painful..nd also i got a swollen chick ..nd inside my cheek there are too many cuts, i cant eat anything.. even if..i cant able to talk ..this pain is intolerable..please suggest me which medicine i should take to reduce my pain .

    • Susan says:

      Hey Smita!

      You’re having yourself a hard time.

      All of the individual complaints you have are signs that your braces are not aligned correctly.While you may experience discomfort, they should not cause pain or damage to your mouth. They should not stop you from eating.

      We recommend that you see your dentist as soon as possible to get this fixed. If that dentist won’t, see another.

      Cuts are not normal when you wear braces.

      Braces hindering you from eating is not normal.

      Intense pain is not normal.

      Please see a dentist right away to fix these problems.

  • Audrey says:

    I have had braces for about 2 days now and I have tried everything on this list but nothing works! I even put a heating pad on my face and that didnt help either:( what should I do? My mouth is so painful!

    • Susan says:

      Hey, Audrey!

      I know this is a hard time for you, so we’ll try to help.

      Having braces is a big shock to your system. However, you should not be experiencing any pain worse than what a simple aspirin could relieve.

      If you are still in pain, you should see your dentist as soon as possible to find out why you are in pain.

      In the meantime, stick to the aspirin and cold treatment. This should take away some of the pain.

  • Awesome article! We are a team of orthodontists who specialise in teen and adult braces, with practices in Sydney CBD, Maroubra and Kincumber. Check us out at http://www.theorthopractice.com.au/treatments/

  • Tina says:

    Hey there! Just wanted to tell you guys how much I appreciate what you do here. You’re all a great help to a lot of people and I hope you all know that you’re amazing people <3

  • nikki says:

    My daughter has recently had a brace fitted an is causing an lot of pain,i noticed that they are all in the middle of her teeth part from 3 which are on the gum is that possibly why she has so much pain

    • Susan says:

      Hey, Nikki! Let’s see if we can help.

      When a child has braces fitted, it can cause pain. But, the pain should not be anything more than what an aspirin can cure. If there is more pain than that, or if it is persistent, you need to get back to the dentist and see what is wrong.

      As for the braces, normally, the brace structures are not on the gums and do not touch the gums. It can be possible for the attached piece to have moved. We recommend seeing your dentist to check it out and find out why your child is in pain.

      Don’t take any platitudes that pain is normal. While some pain is, the pain you describe is not. Force the issue and see the dentist.

  • Anonymous says:

    Hello! I got my braces today. I have a holding arch on the bottom and 4 braces on my teeth (I habe two extra teeth on top of my top two teeth which shouldn’t be there!) I really want to use the wax but unfortunately my parents have it, and they are gone. I will try hot water in a bag on my mouth, but if there is any way I can prevent my braces from digging into my teeth it would be great! (experiencing pain when I give my top teeth a very slight push). I have a mouthguard, can I wear that at night?

    • Susan says:


      We hope your parents have arrived home and you’re able to use your wax.

      Having your braces can be rather uncomfortable until you get used to it.

      One of the solutions you could have tried was to use sterile cotton in order to place a buffer between the parts of your braces that were causing pain and your gums.

      It is not a long-term solution, but can work for a few hours.

      As for your mouth guard, your dentist will have told you when to wear it and how to use it.

      We recommend talking to your dentist to see if you can wear it at night.

  • Anonymous says:

    Oh, and by gone I meant out! My apologies, don’t worry!!

  • Brenda says:

    Hi well ive had braces for about 6 months already pain has been happening normal when they get tighten. But 5 days ago i got my 2 top premolars extracted and my braces tighten… they dont hurt all the time but sometimes i just feel all my top gums and palate sore. its very bothering the only thing that has been working is gargleing Listerine but it only last a couple of min.. Anything like that you can recommend but that last a lil longer… Ibouprofen works when i go to sleep but during the day i feel like it does nothing and i take the 800mg

    • Susan says:

      Hey Brenda!

      We recommend you talk to the orthodontist that is working on your braces.

      This type of pain is not normal.

      You have been experiencing the discomfort of braces, so you know there has been a big change.

      Your orthodontist will be able to help you manage the pain and make any adjustments that will reduce it.

  • Bridget says:

    I take pain medication for my braces but when the pain is unbearable and I’m waiting for the meds to kick in, I will put tons of Oral Jel on my gums and it COMPLETELY numbs everything! Then, by the time the Oral Jel wears off, my pain meds are now working:) Oral Jel can be found in the dental section of any store, and the generic brands work just as good! They are typically labelled like they’re for babies who are teething, though. ALSO, a good method is this: just to not think about it!!! Keep yourself busy!

    • Daniel says:

      Thanks for the information. Your advice is great. We do recommend that you talk to your orthodontist because that level of pain is not normal. It can indicate a problem.

    • Daniel says:

      Hey, Bridget!

      Thanks for the information. Your advice is great. We do recommend that you talk to your orthodontist because that level of pain is not normal. It can indicate a problem.

  • lily says:

    I have a problem with my arch wire its not poking out at all so there’s nothing the orthodontist can do it keeps catching on the skin right at the back of my mouth and tearing it usually stops after a few days but this time is been like it for weeks and my next appointment isn’t for a while i tried the wax but it just falls off or moves due to where the end of my arch wire ends salt water and the other ways of healing do work but it just gets torn open again the pain isn’t unbearable but it makes it difficult to eat and speak any help would be welcome

    • Susan says:

      Hey Lily!

      This is a terrible situation.

      We recommend contacting your orthodontist and getting an appointment as soon as possible.

      It is not normal for the archwire to be cutting into your skin.

      Your orthodontist will have other recommendations in order to stop the damage and keep the archwire where it’s supposed to.

      If you are not happy with the way your orthodontist has adjusted your braces, it is your right as a patient to seek out another one for a second opinion.

  • Kelly Haynes says:

    I have braces on at age 54, and they are miserable (for six months now). I don’t have the “normal” problem that I have heard from others about being uncomfortable after tightening, but rather them being sharp inside my mouth constantly. I put three kids through braces and happy I did, but I would think twice about it for myself if I had it to do over.

    • Susan says:

      Hey Kelly!

      We agree braces are hard and that kids can get through it a lot easier than adults.

      We recommend talking to an orthodontist about having those sharp feelings in your mouth.

      It could be that there are points that are irritating you and your orthodontist will be able to help you understand ways to reduce the pain, by using something like dental wax.

      It could also be that as an adult, your mouth is much more sensitive and you are simply feeling the braces more than younger people.

      Your orthodontist will be able to cover that with you.

  • Amanda says:

    This is my 2nd day of wearing brace. I got 2 mouth ulcer from brace and it feel tender and tight whenever i chew food which is why i decided to eat soft food only. Strangely, my right cheek bone from inner hurt(not the gum, more upper to the gum of molar teeth ). Is that normal?

    • Susan says:

      Hey Amanda!

      Wearing braces is hard.

      Deciding to eat soft food for a few days will help and is a smart move.

      It is quite normal to feel tender and odd when you first get your braces or when adjustments happen.

      You should be having another orthodontist appointment very soon and you can discuss the feelings you have with your orthodontist then.

      If you feel this is very odd or the problems get worse, do visit your orthodontist sooner.

      If you continue getting mouth ulcers this is an issue for your orthodontist.

  • celeste says:

    I got my braces in July and now its December and I just got a thicker wire and rubber bands the pain is intolerable what medication should I use as I have tried all the methods above. I cant sleep because of this pain

    • Susan says:

      Hey Celeste!

      Braces can be tough.

      We do know that you should not be in pain to the point that you can’t sleep and you require medication just a function.

      This is a problem you need to take up with your orthodontist in order to determine why you are having this kind of pain.

      Chances are they will be able to adjust your braces, your wires, and the rubber bands in order to relieve your pain and continue your treatment.

      Please do not try any adjustments on your own, as this could set you back months or years.

  • Jenny says:

    I can’t sleep I have so much pain with my braces today is my first day with them plz HELP ME !!

    • Susan says:

      Hey, Jenny!

      We’re sorry to hear you’re having pain. It is quite common for people to be sore and feel mild pain when they first get braces on. Generally, this pain fades within a couple of days. Most of the time, a simple over the counter painkiller should be enough to remove the pain. If it is leading to the point where you cannot sleep and is quite distracting, you need to talk to your orthodontist about having your braces adjusted. Do not try and change the braces yourself.

      Thank you!

  • Josie says:

    I’m on day 12 of braces and chewing on anything still hurts. Is this normal? If anyone had a similar experience, how long do you think until they’re not sore anymore?

    • Susan says:

      Hey, Josie!

      Getting braces as hard and being sensitive for a 2 weeks after getting your braces is relatively common. Since you’re on day 12, try to wait for a few days more while relieving the soreness by rinsing with warm salt water twice a day. If you continue to feel the soreness after a couple of days, we recommend you talk to your orthodontist about the pain you are experiencing and the difficulties you are having. They may need to adjust the braces to make it more comfortable for you to chew. Please do not try any at home treatment adjustment to yourself as it could cause more problems down the line.

      Thank you!

  • Charlotte says:

    If wax doesn’t work for keeping it from scratching i suggest using sugar-free gum and put it onto the area that is sharp, just like you would with wax, i did ask my orthodontist before using and he said as long as its sugar free it won’t harm the braces in anyway.

    • Susan says:

      Hey Charlotte!

      That’s an excellent piece of advice. We would recommend everyone talk to the orthodontist before using gum. There are some braces that gum may interfere with the mechanisms. Chewing gum may not be appropriate for certain retainers. We’re glad it worked for you, and it is an option for people once they ask their orthodontist if it’s okay.

  • Jai says:

    I have bute pads on my braces and they make the tooth above them hurt alot when I wake up in the morning, what should i do to stop the pain? ( I got my braces put in yesterday ).

    • Susan says:

      Hey Jai!

      This is a tough situation. Since you just got your braces put on yesterday, there’s probably an adjustment period you will need to work through. If this happens a couple of days in a row, we recommend talking to your orthodontist about the pain you are experiencing and what you can do about it. There may be many causes of this from pinching your cheek to the braces being adjusted too tight. Some discomfort is reasonable, but actual pain is not. Your orthodontist will be able to to make the adjustments a bit differently and tell you what is happening. Also, you can read this article on braces pain relief.

  • Leann says:

    What if the ice cream is hard so you can’t bite on to it?

    • Susan says:

      Hey Leann!

      This is an interesting question because we’ve never run across ice cream that is so hard that it can’t be bit into. If that’s the case, we recommend letting the ice cream sit for a few minutes until it softens or choose a different ice cream. Also, check to see if you’re eating ice cream or crushed ice. The ice can be difficult to bite into and may not provide the same level of relief.

  • colin says:

    i just got my second wire on each upper and lower teeth and its really hurting in my jaw how do I ease the pain

    • Susan says:

      Hey Colin!

      This is a tough situation. We recommend trying some of the pain relief methods we have listed above. If they don’t work, or you’re in severe pain, we recommend contacting your orthodontist and explaining the problem. Some discomfort is to be expected, but pain is not. You should also not experience pain in your jaw. Your orthodontist will be the best one to explain what is going on and how to relieve your specific issue.

  • gh says:

    some of my teeth feel loose sense they attached a bracket and wire to my wisdom teeth is that normal or not?

    • Susan says:

      Hey Gh!

      This is an unfortunate situation. It is possible for your teeth to feel loose since having dental work done. They should not be loose. We recommend talking to your orthodontist about this problem as soon as possible. They will be able to tell you if what you are feeling is just sensation or if there is truly a problem occurring.

  • Joe says:

    Try OraChill for braces pain. It works!!

  • Alyssa Berardi says:

    I tried all of these I have rubber bands and nothing works post some of the techniques for rubber bands.

    • Help me says:

      This is stupid nothing works

      • Susan says:


        It’s hard when you can’t find a solution to your pain. If you have that much pain and you cannot find relief, you need to speak with your orthodontist to discover the cause. What we recommend in this article works for the majority of people.

    • Susan says:

      Hey Alyssa!

      It’s hard when you can’t find a solution to your pain. I can add few more tips to the pain relief. As I’ve adviced in the previous comments, try to avoid crunchy or hard foods, such as raw vegetables and chips, and opt for more soft foods meantime. Choose smoothies, yogurt, soups, pudding and mashed potatoes. After the pain subsides, you can resume your normal eating habits. You can also try a local anesthetic over-the-counter gels, such as Orabase *, Orajel * or Anbesol *. They form a protective barrier to help orthodontic and denture irritations. Use a cotton swab or your finger to apply the numbing gel to the areas of discomfort.

      If you still have that much pain and you cannot find relief, you need to speak with your orthodontist to discover the cause.

  • Eugene Lewis says:

    I suggest using the modern Invisalign technologies if you are worried about the pain caused by the regular braces. This treatment is less painful and brings results faster, so you won’t have to endure them for a long time. It’s available for both adults and kids. To find out more, visit this blog: http://blog.sesamehub.com/robison-tyler/2018/06/ten-reasons-to-bring-your-teen-to-robison-orthodontics-for-invisalign-treatment/

    • Susan says:

      Hey Eugene!

      Thanks for sharing this blog and clinic. Invisalign is a type of clear braces, and many dentists and orthodontist are recommending it. They are less painful than regular braces. However, it cannot be used for all conditions. Invisalign is used mainly for relining teeth, not fixing things like overbite or underbite.

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