Mild pain or discomfort is a normal side effect of wearing braces. But you should only feel the discomfort immediately after your orthodontist places or adjusts your braces or wires. The discomfort typically disappears within four days, and braces pain rarely lasts longer than a week.
When you first get braces, it’s also common to feel some pain in your cheeks for about a week. Thankfully, adjustments shouldn’t make this kind of discomfort worse.
Keep reading to learn more about how to find pain relief from braces at home. Afterward, schedule a consultation with an experienced orthodontist in Oakbrook, IL.
Why do Braces Hurt?
To realign your smile, braces put stress on your teeth. This pressure often makes your teeth and gums sensitive. For a short period after their initial placement, you might also feel some pain in your cheeks. Most types of braces are designed to ease the pain as much as possible, but they can still rub against your cheeks, causing soreness or even small cuts.
Why do Rubber Bands on Braces Hurt So Much?
Orthodontists often add rubber bands to braces to apply additional pressure to your teeth. Just like with the wires connecting your braces, this pressure can be painful. Like with any change, it’s only painful in the very beginning. After a few days, your mouth adjusts to the extra pressure and the pain goes away.
How to Relieve Braces Pain at Home
If your braces are bugging you, there are a number of simple tricks you can try to give yourself some relief.
- Eat Soft Foods
Soft foods like mashed potatoes, noodles, and soup provide the nourishment you need without putting any additional pressure on your teeth. Even better, treat yourself to a bowl of ice cream! If you’re not sensitive to temperature, the cold can help reduce inflammation.
- Ice Your Gums
Ice packs offer the same kinds of benefits as cold foods. Simply rest an ice pack covered in a towel on the outside of your mouth for 20 minutes at a time. The cold should reduce inflammation and provide pain relief.
- Take Pain Relievers For Braces
Over-the-counter pain medications like Advil can provide lasting relief for all kinds of braces pain. Oral anesthetics like Orajel are another great option. Simply apply the gel to your teeth and gums with your finger or a cotton swab.
- Use Wax
If your brackets and wires irritate your cheeks, orthodontic wax might be the solution you need. The soft barrier between your braces and the rest of your mouth is a great way to prevent cuts and irritation. Just be sure to remove the wax before you eat or brush your teeth, then reapply when you’ve finished. And while you should avoid swallowing the wax, it is non-toxic.
Having braces can be a pain, both literally and figuratively. Fortunately, most people only notice mild discomfort for a few days after they get their braces tightened. Going easy on your teeth with soft foods like mashed potatoes and ice cream goes a long way to counter the pain. And medications like Advil and Orajel are there to help if you need them.
Schedule an Orthodontic Consultation in Oakbrook, IL
If you have any other questions about orthodontic treatment, reach out to the experts at Oakbrook Orthodontics. We’d be happy to address your concerns and put your mind at ease about braces. It’s our goal to help you feel as comfortable as possible while we work to give you the smile you’ve always wanted! We’re the best orthodontists in Oakbrook, IL.
Call us today at (630) 705-7900 to speak to our orthodontic team.