Braces are worn to align the teeth. However, the pain that may result from braces can be discouraging and distracting. The pain may be related to the body's response to pressure on the teeth, but it also varies according to age, stress level, and gender. There is no specific drug to relieve pain due to braces. However, several methods can be used to relieve pain.
Method 1 of 5: Changing Your Diet
Step 1. Eat soft foods for the first few days
The worst pain from braces usually occurs within the first 24-72 hours after the braces are placed. During the first few days, eat very soft foods that don't require much chewing until you're more used to eating with braces. Dishes, such as soups, applesauce, and mashed potatoes, are great food choices.
Step 2. Eat cold/frozen foods, such as ice cream
Ice cream can relieve pain in the mouth because it is numbing. Ice cubes can also be swallowed. Place the ice cube in your mouth near the area that hurts the most. Ice cubes can help to numb the mouth and relieve any inflammation that may occur.
- Alternatively, store the baby's teether in the freezer, then bite it or put it in your mouth. This method is also effective in relieving pain.
- Do not chew/bite on ice or ice cubes as hard food can damage and loosen braces.
Step 3. Do not consume acidic foods and drinks
Acidic foods and drinks that contain citrus, for example, can aggravate sores/pain in the mouth. Avoid this type of food/drink so as not to further irritate the mouth.
Step 4. Don't eat hard or sticky foods
Certain foods should not be eaten so that the braces are not damaged and cause irritation and additional costs. Hard, sticky foods, such as chips, beef jerky, nuts, and taffy, are likely to damage braces.
Do not chew/bite on hard objects, such as pens, pencils or ice cubes
Method 2 of 5: Using Oral Medication
Step 1. Take over-the-counter pain relievers
Pain relievers, such as acetaminophen (Tylenol), can relieve pain from braces. Take one dose (2 tablets) of acetaminophen every 4 hours. Make sure to eat food right before taking acetaminophen because this drug can cause stomach upset if taken immediately without eating first. Drink a full glass of water to swallow the medicine.
- Follow the directions on the package for the correct dosage.
- Ibuprofen (Advil), instead of Tylenol, can be taken although some dentists and orthodontists do not recommend taking ibuprofen because it can slow down the movement of teeth. At the very least, do not take both types of drugs; choose one!
Step 2. Apply a topical anesthetic to numb the pain
There are a number of over-the-counter pain relievers, usually anesthetics, that can numb the mouth for several hours. This medication is available in the form of a mouthwash, solution, and gel. Products such as Orajel and Colgate Orabase can be used.
Follow the instructions on the product packaging for proper use. Some people experience allergic reactions when using similar products. So, read the instructions for use first before starting to use the product
Step 3. Gargle with salt water
Salt water can soothe the mouth and treat any wounds that may occur from braces rubbing against the inside of the cheeks. Salt water for gargling is made by dissolving 1 tsp of table salt in a glass of warm water. Stir until all the salt is dissolved. Pour the salt water into your mouth and gently squirt it all over your mouth for about 1 minute. Then, spit it into the sink.
Repeat several times a day, especially in the first few days and whenever the pain is more severe
Step 4. Gargle with diluted hydrogen peroxide
Hydrogen peroxide is an antiseptic that can relieve inflammation that causes mouth irritation. Mix 1 part water with 1 part 3% hydrogen peroxide in a glass. Pour the solution into your mouth and gently squirt it all over your mouth for about 1 minute, then spit it out into the sink. Repeat several times a day.
- Many hydrogen peroxide-based products that you can buy at convenience stores or pharmacies are intended to treat sores and relieve soreness in the mouth, such as Colgate Peroxyl mouthwash.
- Some people don't like the taste of hydrogen peroxide and the foam that forms when gargling.
Step 5. Use orthodontic wax (orthodontic wax)
Dental or orthodontic wax is used as a barrier between the braces and the inside of the mouth. This product can be purchased at a pharmacy or obtained from a dentist after braces are placed.
To use orthodontic wax, cut a small piece of wax and roll it into a small ball the size of a pea. This method warms and makes it easier to use the candle. Use a paper towel to dry the part of the braces you want to wax. Then, press the wax directly on the braces or brackets. Repeat the procedure as needed
Step 6. Attach the rubber provided with the braces
This small piece of rubber is attached to the wire to help align the wire and jaws. The use of rubber helps shorten the time it takes to align the teeth. So, using rubber is indeed profitable. Your orthodontist may recommend that you use the rubber all the time, except when eating or brushing your teeth, and change the rubber regularly.
The use of rubber often causes pain, especially during the first few days after braces are placed. However, the pain can get worse if you don't get used to using rubber. If the rubber is only used for 2 hours a day or a few times a week, the pain will be more severe than if you wear it all the time
Method 3 of 5: Changing Teeth Cleaning Habits
Step 1. Choose a toothpaste that is specifically for sensitive teeth
Most toothpaste manufacturers produce toothpaste specifically designed for sensitive teeth. This type of toothpaste contains the chemical potassium nitrate, which can help reduce sensitivity by protecting the nerves in the gums. Most brands use artificial potassium nitrate. However, some natural toothpaste brands, such as Tom's of Maine, use natural potassium nitrate. Both can be used safely.
Follow the instructions on the package for proper use
Step 2. Use a soft-bristled toothbrush
Toothbrush bristles range from fine to hard. The finer the bristles, the softer it will be on your teeth and gums when brushing your teeth. So, choose a soft-bristled toothbrush.
Step 3. Gently brush your teeth
If you're used to brushing your teeth hard, it can cause severe pain during the first few days after braces are placed. Brush your teeth in gentle, slow, careful circular motions. Take time to brush your teeth and open your mouth slowly.
Step 4. Brush your teeth and floss after every meal
While wearing braces, you should brush your teeth and floss after every meal, even when eating out. Otherwise, you run the risk of cavities, swollen gums, or other dental and mouth problems. While wearing braces, dental and oral hygiene must be maintained properly.
Take a travel toothbrush, small pack of toothpaste, and a small bag of dental floss with you when you go out so you can always brush your teeth after eating
Method 4 of 5: Check with an Orthodontist
Step 1. Give yourself some time before visiting an orthodontist
Pain is normal when braces are first placed. However, if severe pain persists after a few weeks, visit your orthodontist again for an examination and ask questions.
Step 2. Ask the orthodontist to loosen the braces
If the pain is too severe, the braces may be too tight. Tighter braces don't mean the treatment will be more effective or finish faster. Consult with an orthodontist about the level of tightness of the braces.
Step 3. Have the orthodontist cut the protruding wire
Sometimes, the end of the wire sticks out and rubs against the inside of the cheek. Such wires can be very painful and cause sores in the mouth. If this is the case, ask your doctor to cut the wire to make it feel better.
Step 4. Ask for a prescription for a stronger medication or another method
The orthodontist may prescribe a stronger dose of ibuprofen if over-the-counter medications don't seem to be effective.
The orthodontist may also recommend other methods, such as the bite wafer. Bite on this product for a few minutes several times every hour. Biting helps increase blood circulation in the gums, thereby relieving pain
Step 5. Ask for additional advice on how to relieve pain
Your orthodontist may be able to suggest a pain relief method that suits your condition. Doctors have worked with many people and know a variety of different treatments that are effective for patients.
Method 5 of 5: Preparing for Braces Reset
Step 1. Schedule a visit to the orthodontist
There may not be much leeway regarding when you can schedule a visit to the orthodontist for braces adjustment. However, if you can, schedule the visit on a day that is not a deadline for completing important tasks/activities that require concentration and focus. Try to visit your orthodontist at the end of the day so that you can go straight home after that and rest.
Step 2. Prepare soft food supplies
The mouth will return to sensitivity within 2 days after the braces are adjusted and/or tightened. Prepare soft foods, such as mashed potatoes, pudding, soups, and other similar foods, for 2 days.
Step 3. Take pain medication before visiting the orthodontist
Take acetaminophen tablets before going to the orthodontist so that the medication is effective when it is your turn to be examined. Thus, the pain is immediately reduced. Take another pain reliever 4-6 hours after the first consumption so that the pain does not increase!
Step 4. Talk to your orthodontist about all your concerns
Now is a good time to tell your doctor about any problems with braces or disorders such as headaches or sores in the mouth that won't heal. There may be actions that can be taken to eliminate or resolve the problem that occurred.
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