4 Ways To Lessen Orthodontic Pain

If you have braces, you know how uncomfortable they can become after they have just been tightened. Nevertheless, periodic adjustments to your braces are necessary for the alignment of your teeth to progress, and the pain that results is quite normal. 

When you visit your orthodontist, he or she may make adjustments to your braces by moving, tightening or bending the arch wire. The arch wire is the metal wire that runs along the brackets of your braces and is attached by elastic bands. For other types, the arch wire will run through the actual brackets of the braces instead.

Here are a few things you can do to help lessen your discomfort after an orthodontic visit:

Make a cold pack.

If you have not purchased a cold pack, you can make one. Fill a resealable sandwich bag with ice and apply it to the outside of your cheek or jaw close to the area of discomfort. The pack will decrease swelling and help alleviate your pain.

If the pack feels too cold, wrap it in a washcloth or small towel. In addition, remove the pack periodically if the cold becomes uncomfortable to prevent the low temperatures from causing frost damage to the skin of your face. 

Use an over-the-counter teething medication.

Oral analgesics numb the gums. They are gentle enough for babies and can be applied directly to your most painful areas using your finger or a swab. The medication may inadvertently numb other areas of your mouth, such as your tongue. However, it will help relieve the pain from the force of your tightened braces.

Sip cold water.

Just as an ice pack applied to the outside of your mouth can help lessen pain, sipping ice water can help numb your sore teeth and gums directly. However, sip slowly to avoid brain freeze.

Take a pain reliever.

You don't have to have a prescription to get pain relief. Drugs, such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen, can be purchased over the counter and are designed to lessen your discomfort. As long as you follow the instructions on the packaging, you should be able to use an oral pain reliever safely.

If you have recently had your braces tightened, your gums may be sore for a few days after your appointment. If your gums are still sore after using the tips above, contact your orthodontist. He or she should be able to provide additional pain-relieving suggestions. For more information, contact a company like Braces Inc.