During the time that braces are on, it’s important to protect the mouth. For the first few days after getting braces, the teeth may be tender. Don’t worry, this is a normal part of the treatment process and the discomfort will subside soon!
During your braces treatment, there are foods that you will want to avoid to ensure your braces remain intact. Foods to avoid with braces include; chewy foods like bagels, licorice, and hard rolls; crunchy foods like popcorn, ice and chips; sticky foods like caramels and gum; hard foods like nuts and candy; foods you have to bite into like corn on the cob, apples, and carrots.
Now, let’s talk about brushing. With braces, it’s important to brush twice a day for two minutes each time. Why? We want to ensure your teeth and gums are healthy after orthodontic treatment to match your new smile!
Throughout treatment you may notice that your mouth feels sore, this is normal! Your mouth is working hard to move the teeth, the soreness is a sign they’re moving! This can be relieved by rinsing your mouth with a warm salt-water mouthwash or aspirin.
Care of Appliances
To successfully complete the treatment plan, the patient must work together with the orthodontist. The teeth and jaws can only move toward their corrected positions if the patient consistently wears the appliances or rubber bands as prescribed. Damaged appliances lengthen the treatment time.
After treatment is complete, you will be provided with retainers to ensure your teeth remain in place. When wearing your retainers full time, take out retainers when eating. Don’t forget to put them in their case! We often see most appliances lost in school lunchrooms! Clean retainers thoroughly once a day with a toothbrush, toothpaste, and warm water.
If your retainer becomes lost or broken, give us a call so we can help replace or repair them! Even after treatment is completed, we are only a phone call away and here to answer any questions or concerns you have! With proper care, your retainers will last for years!
Don’t worry, braces won’t slow you down! However, we do recommend that you wear a mouthguard when involved in any sport! If you do have an accident to your face, check in on your mouth and applianced. If you notice anything that is off, give us a call and we’ll schedule an appointment to check in on your braces!
Loose Wire or Band?
Have you noticed a loose wire or band? Don’t worry, sometimes that happens! If the wire protrudes and is irritating, use a blunt instrument and carefully push the wire under the archwire. If irritation to the lips or mouth continues, place wax or wet cotton on the wire. If any piece comes off, save it and bring it with you to your next appointment!
Noticing something off and not sure what to do? Please give us a call, at any time of the day, for any help. Don’t worry if you’re not sure of the exact names, we’ll help you figure out what’s going on!
If you have an emergency outside of our business hours please text us at 262-522-7447
What Causes Braces Pain?
There are several reasons you may be experiencing braces pain. The pressure braces exert on your teeth and gums causes changes in blood flow that makes them more sensitive and prone to irritation — especially at first. As your teeth move closer together, there is less force being applied, so the pain should subside over time.
Braces require frequent adjustments to make sure the teeth are moving into their correct positions. Your orthodontist may need to tighten, bend, or replace the archwires — the thin metal strips that connect the brackets. This puts more pressure on the teeth and can lead to soreness for a few days afterward.
What Can Help with Braces Pain?
Luckily, there are some things you can do at home to ease your suffering. If you’re wondering how to help with braces pain, try the following tips:
- Oral Anesthetics. Topical anesthetics, also known as numbing gels or liquids, contain benzocaine, a local anesthetic that blocks nerve signals in your body to reduce pain. Popular brands include Orajel and Anbesol. Apply to your gums with a cotton swab or clean finger every few hours as needed for braces pain relief.
- Ice Packs/Cold Foods. Ice decreases inflammation and swelling to reduce pain. You can apply an ice pack to your cheek or the exterior of your mouth to help with braces pain (wrap it in a soft cloth first if it’s too cold). If you don’t have an ice pack handy, cold foods work, too. Try a popsicle or ice cream. Ice water is effective, too (but not nearly as tasty).
- Orthodontic Wax. Turns out Mr. Miyagi’s karate lesson to Daniel — wax on, wax off — can help with braces pain, too. Applying orthodontic wax to your braces will protect your inner cheeks and gums from irritation. If your drugstore doesn’t carry it, your orthodontist can provide you with some.
- Warm Salt Water Rinses. Gargling with warm salt water helps alleviate infections and soreness. Simply add ½ teaspoon of table salt to one cup of warm water, stir until it dissolves, and swish around in your mouth for about 60 seconds before spitting out. You can repeat several times a day as needed.
- Soft Foods. If you’re Team Mashed Potatoes, you’re going to love this tip! Eating hard, crunchy, or chewy foods can aggravate pain in your jaw, gums, lips, and cheeks. Save the potato chips and celery sticks for another time; instead, stick to softer foods like yogurt, soup, bananas, applesauce, scrambled eggs, pasta, and smoothies.
- Hot Peppermint Tea Bags. Peppermint doesn’t only taste refreshing and make your house smell like Christmas; it’s got anti-inflammatory properties that promote healing and can help with braces pain. Make yourself a cup of peppermint tea and apply the used bag, while still wet and warm, to the affected area. You can also add a few drops of peppermint essential oil to sore areas in your mouth.
- Gum Massage. Use your fingers to gently massage your gums in a circular motion and you’ll be surprised by how much better your mouth feels. For added comfort, use ice cubes to help numb the area first. Just be careful not to overdo it.
- Over-the-Counter Pain Medication. When all else fails, over-the-counter pain relievers like ibuprofen and acetaminophen are effective in reducing pain and swelling. These can be taken about an hour before your appointment, or used for braces pain relief at home. Always check with your orthodontist first and use in moderation.
- Rubbing Appliance of Retainer. File the part of the appliance that is irritating you with a nail file
- Poking Wire or Bracket. Roll a piece of orthodontic wax into a ball and press it onto the part of the brackets or wire that’s poking you.
- Broken Wire. Press the tip of the wire that’s poking you towards your teeth with a pencil eraser.
- Small Irritation. Place wax over the rough area of your braces.
- Bracket(s) Loose. When brackets come loose it does not affect the progress of your treatment (unless more than three come off or are loose). If there is no discomfort, don’t worry about making an emergency appointment! We’ll reattach them at your next appointment.