The Reality Of Pain From Braces
It’s common for children and adults who are getting braces to feel anxious. One of the main concerns is if it will be a painful experience. An orthodontist knows that having discomfort is possible. It’s also understood that any level of discomfort is easily manageable.
During the process of placing brackets and wire on the teeth, there will be minimal discomfort. The biggest challenge a person will face is the adjustment period associated with having them. It may take longer to eat meals as a person learns how to chew with them. Most orthodontists recommend their patients eat softer foods for the first couple of days after having the brackets and wires placed on their teeth.
First Few Days
During the initial days, a patient may experience some discomfort as their teeth start the process of realigning. The inside of a person’s mouth may hurt, lips could get cut, and teeth could feel uncomfortable. It’s a time when people adjust to the pressure from elastic ligatures and wires. An orthodontist will be able to make recommendations on what products should be used to deal with this situation. It could be a variety of things from applying wax to using over-the-counter pain medication and more. In a short period of time people adjust and often forget they are even wearing them.
It’s important a person continue with their daily routine. This will keep their mind off the changes taking place in their mouth. It’s a way not to focus on any possible discomfort and the adjustment of having constant pressure in the mouth.
Each patient will have an individualized response to any discomfort they experience. Some people easily accept them and report little or no discomfort. Other people struggle with it and claim to have discomfort during most of the time they wear them. Research has shown there is a difference in handling discomfort between men and women, levels of life stress, emotional state as well as age and more.
It is common for a person during the early stages to develop sores on the soft tissue areas of their mouth like the tongue, cheeks or lips. These will go away over time. The tissue will toughen and develop a callous. It may be recommended a person try using an oral rinse as well as a topical anesthetic during this time of adjustment.
Warm Salt Water Rinse
Another effective and inexpensive way to treat sores is with a salt water rinse. This is something simple to make. It only requires mixing a teaspoon of table salt into a glass filled with warm water. Use a spoon to stir the water until all of the salt is dissolved. It is often advised a person use this rinse a few times every day. The warm water and salt solution will soothe their mouth and help the sores heal.
There are times when patients experience a wire poking at the back of their cheek. The only way to correct this situation is to have it clipped. This can be done at any time. Sometimes it doesn’t even require making an appointment. This procedure can be performed rather quickly. A wire poking into a cheek needs to be corrected as soon as possible. Doing this is a good way to avoid any chance of a cheek getting infected.
Avoid Sleeping On The Face
A good way to avoid experiencing discomfort is not to sleep directly on the face. This is what happens when people sleep on their stomach. Doing this will push a person’s lips directly into the brackets and wires. It will cause the teeth and lips to become sore. Sleeping on the side or back is a way to avoid putting pressure on the lips and cheek.
Don’t pick At Braces
It is common for some people to try and decrease any discomfort they’re experiencing by removing the wires or bending them. When the wire is not in place, a person’s teeth are not moving into a correct position. Picking at them could cause a delay in their removal within the standard amount of time. They may have to be worn longer for the teeth to become aligned.
When someone is experiencing discomfort, they may be advised to try an over-the-counter pain medication such as Advil, Tylenol or aspirin. It’s important to follow the instructions on the label and take the correct dosage based on age. It’s important to take them with food. It may also be important to discuss it with a physician if a person is already taking medication.
A person may be advised to try using a bite wafer. When a person bites down on it a few minutes several times each hour, it has been proven to help ease discomfort. The motion of the jaw biting increases the circulation of blood in a person’s gums. This is able to ease the pain.
It’s also possible to ease any discomfort by putting a frozen product under the gum. This will stop any pain that travels from the nerves inside a person’s jaw or mouth. It causes the nerves in the jaw or mouth stop transmitting pain impulses to a person’s brain for a period of time.
One of the easiest ways for a patient to keep their mouth from being hurt by braces is to have some type of barrier in place between the inside of their mouth and the brackets on their teeth. One of the most successful ways to do this is with dental wax. An orthodontist may provide their patients with a sample of dental wax. It’s easy to use. A patient only needs to break off a bit and apply it to the bracket on the tooth that is causing a problem.
A person may be able to have their teeth corrected using a BPA-free clear plastic aligner designed for their teeth. Invisalign is not able to be used in every situation, but it may be a consideration for people wanting to correct their teeth without using traditional brackets and wires.
Nease and Higginbotham Orthodontics, visit and learn about your options for a great smile.
Nease and Higginbotham
2455 E. Main Street
Phone: (864) 579-7700
The Reality Of Pain From Braces