Ladera Ranch, CA – Orthodontic treatment is an important oral health option for many people. Not only does it improve the way a patient’s smile looks, it also improves function or how we chew and bite down. Unfortunately, orthodontic treatment may involve some mild discomfort on the road to a straighter smile. Dr. Robert Gire and Dr. Reza Salmassian of Ladera Orthodontics offer their top 10 tips to relieve discomfort associated with braces.
- Use an oral anesthetic. Orajel or Anbesol are great ways to relieve minor discomfort adjacent to the teeth, gums, lips, and cheeks of braces wearers. Keep some on hand to help relieve any mild discomfort associated with the teeth shifting to their new locations.
- Over-the-counter (OTC) pain relievers can help with discomfort, especially on the days you have an orthodontic adjustment. When the wires are adjusted or when we introduce auxiliaries like elastics, it can be a bit more uncomfortable than usual. An OTC pain reliever may help.
- A cold compress can help make things feel better. Apply to an area of discomfort by the joints or cheeks as needed.
- Drink cold water. After orthodontic appointments, having a nice cold glass of water can take the edge off the discomfort.
- Eat soft foods, especially on the day after you get your braces and the days after your adjustment appointments. Your gums and teeth may be sensitive so stock up on your favorite soft foods as needed.
- Use orthodontic silicone or wax. It will take a few days for your mouth to get used to your braces and there may be some areas that are sensitive from the brackets and wires. Simply apply a very small ball of wax to the area of the braces that are causing the discomfort to the lips and cheeks.
- Rinse your mouth with warm saltwater. This helps to heal any minor sores you may have from your brackets and wires.
- If your gums feel sore, a gentle massage will help! Gently use a clean finger to massage the area on your gums that are sore. Remember, your teeth are changing positions and just like how muscles get sore, sometimes a good massage can make things feel so much better. We have appliances at Ladera Orthodontics that can help with this! Let us know if you would like to talk about them!
- Practice good oral hygiene. Taking good care of your teeth is crucial, especially when braces are being worn. If you don’t take the time to brush and floss properly you can create an even more negative oral environment that involves tooth decay or cavities.
- Follow your orthodontist’s orders. If you’ve been told to wear elastics, wear them just as your orthodontist recommended. This is important to keep your treatment on track. Sporadic wear will be more painful because you don’t ever give your mouth time to adjust and get used to the elastics.
One final tip is to be patient. The tooth moving process is gradual and unfortunately, there may be some discomfort along the way. Remember, we’re moving your teeth through bone to get them to their new locations – that isn’t easy! But the result will be well worth it!
Call us today for more tips and tricks during orthodontic treatment. Ladera Orthodontics: 949-272-8782.