Approximately 4 million people now wear in the US. That, according to the same source, represents a mighty leap versus previous years, and the numbers only keep on growing!
Gone are the days of braces making you the odd one out!
Nowadays, you’re more likely to stand out in the schoolyard if you don’t have them fitted.
The enormous rise in orthodontic treatment is great for our oral health, and for reducing the long-held stigma that existed around wearing braces.
However, it isn’t all great! Braces pain, for instance, can be a mighty bugbear for anyone going through orthodontic treatment. Thankfully, though, there are numerous ways to relieve it!
Looking for ways to do exactly that?
Read on to discover 9 solutions for easing the discomfort caused by braces.
1. Warm Salt Baths
Braces have a nasty habit of creating cuts and sores in your mouth.
The wires can dig in, the metal might rub, and before you know it your mouth’s a hotbed of hurt! Coupled with the general ache of tightened wires, the discomfort can quickly mount.
One of the best solutions is to gargle and rinse with warm saltwater.
Boil the kettle, wait for the water to cool, and mix in some salt. Then, when the temperature’s dropped, take a mouthful and move it around your mouth for 60 seconds or so.
When you’re done, spit it out and repeat if necessary.
The combination of salt and heat works wonders for healing whatever’s going on in your mouth! You’ll feel a swift reduction in pain, and the wounds will heal faster too.
2. Ice (Or Anything Cold!)
Anything cold can be used to good effect as well.
Think about what you do when you twist an ankle or suffer any other injury. Oftentimes, you’ll rest it and pop an icepack on the affected area, right? The cold helps numb the pain and reduce any inflammation.
Use the same methodology for your mouth and you’ll enjoy exactly the same outcome!
Assuming your teeth aren’t too sensitive, grab yourself some ice and keep it in your mouth against the sore area. You could also use this as a good excuse to eat some ice cream—the cold should genuinely help soothe the pain.
3. Hot Peppermint Tea Bags
Just made yourself a cup of peppermint tea?
Don’t let the bag (or the leaves) go to waste! You can use it as another home remedy for your braces pain. They’re packed full of remedial properties that can reduce the inflammation and soreness.
Any residual heat in the teabag will have a positive effect as well. Simply hold the used peppermint teabag (it should be wet and warm) against the affected area to feel a reduction in discomfort.
As a quick aside, peppermint essential oil could be used for the same purpose. Get your hands on some and add a few drops to the painful part(s) of your mouth. It’ll help numb and soothe the area.
4. Heat Pads
As you’ve gathered by now, heat is your friend when trying to relieve any oral pain.
Heating pads are another way to harness its healing effects. If your jaw’s feeling sore (inside or out), then try holding a heating pad against the area.
Use the heating pad as often as you need it.
FYI, a warm washcloth can be used in exactly the same way.
5. Avoiding Harder Foods
Soft foods for the win!
You’ll know as well as anybody with braces how sore it can be to eat hard, tough or crunchy foods. Your jaw, gums, lips, and cheeks can all suffer in the process of chewing them.
Remember, the tightening of your braces tends to make everything that bit more sensitive. The inflammation that arises can cause serious discomfort when anything rubs up against it.
Stick to softer foods such as soups and smoothies until the pain subsides.
6. Dental/Orthodontic Wax
Orthodontic wax is another solution for braces pain.
Never heard of it? Well, shame on your orthodontist!
As you know, it’s all too common for the metal of your braces to rub up against the inside of your cheeks and gums. Sores, scratches, cuts, and general irritation all occur as a result.
And they’re never fun to deal with.
The wax is used to coat the metal and reduce the irritation is can cause. It creates a barrier between the sharp metal and your soft mouth, thereby making irritation less likely.
7. Gum Massage
Love a good shoulder, foot, or back massage?
What about a gum massage?
Give it a go! You’ll be surprised how soothing it can be when you’re struggling with soreness. Use your fingers to gently rub the affected area. Sure, you’ll look a bit odd and get drool everywhere, but the sweet relief will make it all worthwhile.
8. Pain Killers
The aforementioned natural remedies can all provide effective relief from brace pain.
Sometimes, though, the pain is at a level that chemical help is required. When that’s the case, over the counter pain killers can make a mighty difference.
Raid your cupboards or head to the local chemist for paracetamol, ibuprofen or something similar. Stick to the recommended dosage, wait a few minutes, and you should start feeling far better.
Remember, though, that it might not be dealing with the root problem.
The pain will ease, but the sore area might remain. When the pain killer wears off you’re back to square one.
9. Quality Dental Hygiene
A quick one to finish:
Being rigorous with your oral hygiene is crucial for preventing problems and helping them heal.
Be sure to clean your teeth and braces as well as you can, being gentle and thorough if the pain’s already present.
Time to Relieve Your Braces Pain
Braces are becoming increasingly prevalent and accepted in society.
Alas, the practical challenges of wearing braces, such as braces pain, remain! Hopefully, though, this post has provided a selection of useful tips to relieve ay discomfort you’re experiencing.
Are you looking to start orthodontic treatment? Contact us today to see how we can assist you.