How to Care for Brace Discomfort

How to Care for Brace Discomfort

As orthodontists, one of the questions we get asked quite often is whether having braces placed will cause pain or discomfort. The answer is that there’s no reason to be anxious about the brace fitting appointment, as this will not be painful. However, once the braces are placed and the wires are tightened to begin the process of moving the teeth into the desired place, there can be some soreness and discomfort for a few days.

It’s quite normal for patients to experience some mild pain once braces are initially fitted, and again whenever they are tightened. The good news is, this discomfort is short lived and due to advances in orthodontic technology, braces-related pain is much reduced compared to the metal braces of the past as the forces used now are much lighter.

To help you adjust to wearing braces, here is our advice for alleviating brace discomfort.

Check wire ends before leaving your orthodontist’s practice

Once your braces have been fitted, use your tongue and finger to check the ends of the wires don’t poke out and have the potential to rub into your cheek, or tongue. If the wires are too long, you can ask your orthodontist to trim them down there and then to prevent unnecessary discomfort.

You should also make sure to book your next orthodontic appointment before you leave. It’s important to schedule in appointments in good time to keep your treatment time as short as possible.

Use orthodontic wax

Modern braces are quite small, smooth and rounded to prevent excessive rubbing, however, it’s normal for them to feel like they are sticking out at first, after all, the soft tissue in your mouth isn’t used to rubbing off anything other than the smooth surfaces of your teeth. It can be helpful to use a small piece of orthodontic wax on any brackets that are causing irritation. Your orthodontist will provide this, so make sure you take enough home with you when you go for an appointment.

Use over the counter pain medication if necessary

To relieve any discomfort caused by the pressure of the braces, you can take over the counter pain relief such as paracetamol or ibuprofen.

Eat soft foods

As your teeth, particularly the front teeth, can feel quite tender after braces are applied or tightened, it’s best to stick to softer foods for a few days. You can try foods such as pasta or rice dishes, or soft cooked vegetables. Try to avoid any food that you have to bite into or chew too much, as this may be painful.

Brace-related discomfort can vary from patient to patient but will normally subside in less than a week. After this time, your teeth will have acclimated to the pressure of your braces, meaning soreness should disappear and eating should be easier.

If you would like more information on braces and different types of braces, you can browse our website, or call 020 8265 9797.