One of the most common question patients have when they are being fitted for adult braces is whether or not the braces will cause pain. Braces can cause moderate discomfort at first, but it subsides within a few days. You will also experience discomfort shortly after every adjustment. However, there are a number of techniques that you can use to minimize any potential discomfort that you experience from adult braces. A slight bit of discomfort is worth the payoff; adult braces leave you with a straight, shining smile and also greatly improve your dental health.
Apply Wax To Stop Braces From Scraping The Inside Of Your Mouth
When you are fitted for your braces, your orthodontist will provide you with a small amount of wax that can be applied to the wire of your braces in order to stop them from abrading the inside of your mouth and causing sores. To use the wax, simply hold it between two fingers in order to heat it up and soften it, and then apply it to the parts of your braces that are making contact with the inside of your mouth. Although the wax is entirely safe if ingested, you will want to remove it before you eat. You will also need to remove the wax before you brush your teeth because the wax can stick to bristled toothbrushes and ruin them. You can remove the wax easily with your fingers. If the wire in your braces pokes into your cheek, make an appointment with the orthodontist to have the excess portion of wire filed off.
If you still have problems with sores on the inside of your mouth, over-the-counter gels designed to treat canker sores can be a great help. These gels can be applied to sores on the inside of your mouth and will reduce pain for several hours.
Take Over-The-Counter Pain Medication
It's recommended to take pain medication such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen before you have your braces adjusted and for a few days after every adjustment. Much of the pain caused by adult braces is due to your body's inflammatory response, which causes swelling of the gums and increases sensitivity in your mouth. These medications will reduce the level of inflammation you experience, leading to a decrease in pain. Stronger pain medication should not be necessary; if the pain of your braces is unbearable even when you are taking over-the-counter pain medication, you should see your dentist immediately.
Chew Ice Or Eat Cold Food To Reduce Swelling
Eating cold food such as ice cream or drinking ice water will reduce swelling in your mouth and lead to a reduction in the amount of pain you experience. Unfortunately, eating a lot of ice cream can add a large amount of unwanted calories to your diet; an alternative is to chew on ice cubes, which is one of the best ways to reduce pain from adult braces. This will reduce swelling in your mouth and also increase blood flow to your gums, both of which will decrease the amount of pain caused by braces.
While braces can be uncomfortable, most patients only feel pain from braces for a few days after they are first applied and for a few days after each adjustment. By using these techniques, you will be able to limit the amount of discomfort that you experience. Over time, callouses will form on the inside of your mouth that prevent your braces from causing sores when they scrape against the inside of your mouth. In addition, your jaw becomes more acclimated to the adjustment and the amount of pressure the braces exert on your teeth will be reduced. Severe pain from braces is very rare and typically means that your braces are too tight. You will need to make an appointment with your orthodontist to have them loosened.