Braces tightening can cause discomfort. The first few hours are very painful for everyone, regardless of the first lift or the last lift. You can avoid and manage pain from braces with several strategies. Solutions range from eating soft foods to taking over-the-counter medications, and protecting the sharp parts of braces.
Part 1 of 3: Calming Yourself Before and During Tightening
Step 1. Talk to your orthodontist or dentist about the procedure
If you're worried, tell your doctor so they can tailor treatment for you.
- Dentists and orthodontists are used to dealing with anxious patients.
- They will explain the procedure and help you deal with anxiety.
- They can also suggest ways to reduce nervousness.
Step 2. Perform deep breathing before and during the procedure
Deep breathing is a diversion so you can reduce anxiety.
- If you are calmer, you will feel less pain.
- Breathe in slowly through your nose.
- Pause for a moment before exhaling slowly.
- Continue to breathe slowly and rhythmically. By concentrating on your breath, you will pay less attention to the doctor's procedure.
Step 3. Close your eyes and listen to music
Bring an iPod, cell phone, or music player, and listen to music or podcasts.
- Choose soothing music, not blaring and energetic music.
- Alternatively, listen to audiobooks.
- Use earphones so that other patients are not distracted by the music you are listening to.
- Make a playlist beforehand so that there is enough music to listen to until the procedure is complete.
- There are dentists or orthodontists who provide a television for the patient to watch during the procedure, or play music in the background to distract the patient.
- There are also modern dentist clinics that provide 3D virtual reality glasses for patients to distract and entertain themselves during the procedure.
Step 4. Avoid caffeine before your appointment
Caffeine can make you nervous and restless. Caffeine also blocks the action of dental anesthetics, making it more difficult for the gums and teeth to be numbed.
- Drinks that contain caffeine include coffee, tea, soda, and energy drinks.
- Drink lots of water before your appointment.
- Make sure you avoid sugary drinks or foods before seeing your doctor.
Step 5. Make sure there are no wires sticking out before leaving
The best time to check is after the procedure, before you go home.
- Ask your doctor to cut or reposition the wire sticking out or scraping your mouth.
- If brackets are causing discomfort, ask your doctor to use dental wax to reduce friction.
- Remember that it is normal for the braces to feel tight and there is a throbbing sensation after the procedure.
Part 2 of 3: Using Over-the-counter Drugs
Step 1. Take an over-the-counter pain reliever or anti-inflammatory
Make sure you check with your doctor before drinking
- Medicines you can take are acetaminophen (Tylenol), ibuprofen (Advil), and aspirin.
- Check the dosage instructions for the schedule and the amount to take.
- Do not exceed the number of doses in 24 hours as instructed on the package.
- Do not take the medication more often than recommended.
- Medication can reduce aches and pains from shifting teeth, but you may still feel some discomfort.
- Always carry painkillers with you so you can take them when needed.
Step 2. Take the medication one hour before going to the clinic
Thus, the effect is already working before the appointment.
- Make sure you take your medication with at least one glass of water.
- This is to help reduce swelling and discomfort during the procedure.
- After the appointment, take one dose of the pain reliever of choice at the time scheduled on the package.
- Taking pain medication 24 hours after the procedure can reduce pain the next day.
- Avoid chewable tablets that are difficult to chew if your tooth hurts. In addition, chewable tablets can also be attached to the stirrup. The best option is liquid painkillers.
Step 3. Use oral anesthetics to reduce discomfort
The oral anesthetic is in the form of a gel and is available at pharmacies.
- Examples are gels like Oragel and Anbesol.
- The gel will numb the areas it comes into contact with, such as the gums and teeth.
- Most gels are flavored although they may be unpleasant at times.
- Apply the gel on the sore and sore area inside the mouth.
- Use a cotton bud to apply the gel.
- Try not to touch the tongue. If that happens, the tongue will be numb and may be accidentally bitten.
Part 3 of 3: Reducing Pain After Procedures Without Drugs
Step 1. Change your diet
You should avoid foods that require a lot of chewing.
- Eat soft foods for the first 24 hours after braces are tightened.
- Choose foods such as porridge, jellies, puddings, mashed potatoes, applesauce, soups, and smoothies.
- If you must eat something that is chewing, cut it into small pieces to reduce chewing.
- Use a small spoon or fork (preferably plastic or wooden) when eating to avoid getting it on your teeth.
Step 2. Apply a cold compress to the face and teeth to reduce pain and swelling
You can use an ice pack or drink cold water.
- Use a gel pack or a soft ice pack. Apply to the cheeks for 15 minutes.
- Drink lots of cold water through a straw.
- Cold water can help to numb the teeth and reduce swelling in the gums.
- Do not eat or drink anything warm after drinking cold water. This can damage the braces and make the teeth hurt even more.
Step 3. Wash your mouth frequently
Use the recommended mouthwash or salt water.
- Add 1 tsp. table salt in a glass of lukewarm water.
- Gargle with the salt water for 60 seconds.
- Gargling will make existing blisters or sores even more painful, but will help clean the braces and speed healing.
- Gargle in the same way you would use a dentist-recommended mouthwash.
Step 4. Use a soft toothbrush
A regular toothbrush will make you even more uncomfortable.
- Remember to brush your teeth and braces at least twice a day.
- Use a toothpaste for sensitive teeth, such as Sensodyne.
- Sensodyne can reduce sensitivity and pain in teeth due to tightened braces.
Step 5. Apply dental wax to the wire or bracket that scrapes the mouth
It can protect the cheeks, lips, and gums from abrasions and cuts.
- Get a dental wax from your dentist or orthodontist. You can also buy it at the pharmacy.
- Stick a little wax on the brackets and protruding wires in the morning after brushing your teeth.
- Remove the wax before brushing your teeth at night.
- Get rid of used candles that will only invite bacteria.
- Try not to sleep with the candle still on, but if you're having trouble with the wire sticking out, you can use it at night.
- Always carry dental wax with you in case you have to use it again.
Step 6. Apply fluoride gel three times a week
Use a gel if your teeth are sensitive to something cold. In general, fluoride gel helps avoid cavities and tooth sensitivity. Sometimes fluoride gel can only be obtained by prescription. So you should talk to your dentist before using it.
There is also a type of fluoride gel that your dentist can apply to your teeth twice a year. Talk to your doctor about this option if you have problems with sensitive teeth or possible cavities
- Make sure you prepare plenty of soft foods after the braces are tightened.
- If discomfort is unusual, contact an orthodontist. Maybe your braces need to be readjusted.
- Do not take anti-inflammatory drugs more than the recommended dose.
- Drink plenty of cold water after the procedure.
- If your tooth hurts a lot, try distracting yourself by listening to music or reading a book.
- Close your eyes while the orthodontist is working on your braces. If you see all the instruments being put in your mouth, you will not be able to calm down, and that can cause problems during the procedure.