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How Can You Make Orthodontic Treatments More Comfortable?

Orthodontic treatments are an important step on your journey to top-tier oral health and a healthy smile. Unfortunately, they aren’t always the most comfortable experience. On the bright side, the discomfort is normal and usually means the braces or clear aligners are doing their job.

To get the teeth to shift into the right spots, orthodontic treatments apply slight pressure to the teeth, which is the most common source of orthodontic discomfort. With braces, it’s also not unusual for irritation to come from food stuck between the brackets and wires or from small cuts on the inside of the mouth. Adjustments to the braces or aligners can also cause pain to flare up.

A guide to orthodontic comfort

There are several different solutions you can use to make orthodontic treatments more tolerable. If your braces or aligners are causing significant pain, however, schedule an appointment with an orthodontist.

Ease pain with heat

Heat is very effective in easing pain. For jaw pain, you can rest a heating pad or warm washcloth against the area. Many people use hot peppermint tea bags to apply heat directly to the gums. In addition to the warmth of the bag, peppermint has medicinal properties that can help reduce inflammation.

Apply ice to soothe discomfort

Heat is not the only source of comfort. Ice or other cold substances can help reduce inflammation and briefly numb the area that is hurting. If you don’t have sensitive teeth, you can hold ice in your mouth directly against the spots that are bothering you.

Rinse with warm saltwater

Washing your mouth with a simple warm water and salt rinse can help in more ways than one. First, the warmth will provide pain relief. Adding salt to the mix also helps any wounds inside your mouth — like cuts and scratches from braces — heal faster.

Try insulating braces with wax

Orthodontic wax is a substance that covers braces to create a softer barrier between the metal and your cheeks and gums. This method can remedy friction and stop your braces from cutting the inside of your mouth. Orthodontic wax is a common product found at most grocery stores or pharmacies.

Take OTC painkillers to ease intense pain

Over-the-counter painkillers like ibuprofen or acetaminophen are great in a pinch to treat higher levels of pain. Remember, if the pain is extreme or persistent, talk to an orthodontist right away. For children who are too young to swallow pills — or anyone who struggles to take them — liquid forms of both ibuprofen and acetaminophen are available over the counter.

Maintain good dental hygiene and avoid certain foods

Maintaining your routine dental habits of brushing and flossing is your first line of defense. The healthier your teeth and gums are, the better you’ll be able to handle the discomfort of orthodontic treatments. Brushing and flossing can also ensure you get rid of any trapped food that can cause irritation or cavities. And, of course, remember to avoid foods that can damage your braces.

Are you ready for a more comfortable journey toward a beautiful smile?

We’re here to help you or your child find orthodontic relief throughout their journey to a healthier smile. Thunderbird Kid’s Dentistry & Orthodontics aims to provide the highest quality of orthodontic care to our patients. We believe every child deserves access to expert orthodontists, healthy smiles, and a positive orthodontic experience. That’s why we make booking an appointment easy and provide affordable options.

Schedule an appointment today. 

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