Soreness is very normal after getting your braces put on or after getting them tightened. In addition, your cheeks, lips and gums need to get used to all the new hardware! Luckily, soreness and irritation usually only lasts a few days. Here are some great ways to get you through those times:
Lip and cheek protection
- Wax: Your dentist or orthodontist can stock you up or they sell it in grocery stores and drug stores. Roll it into a ball with you fingers and stick it over whatever spot is bothering you.
- Lip protector sleeve: It make take a few times to get the fit right, but these are generally easy to adapt or cut to fit and can be re-used.
- Ortho Dots: We have had many adults have good luck with these, although it is not recommended that you re-use them and they are a little pricey.
- Bracees: We have not tried these yet, but they look super-cute!
- Warm salt water: This mixture can be used for many different things and should also help soothe irritated areas of your lips and cheeks. Start with about 1 tsp salt dissolved into 1 cup of warm water and adjust the proportions as needed.
- Peroxyl: A hyrodogen peroxide rinse with a pleasant minty flavor, mean to soothe and help heal mouth sores and irritation.
- Orajel: An antiseptic rinse containing hydrogen peroxide and an oral pain reliever. Oracle also makes a topical anesthetic gel to target specific areas (see below).
Chewing on therapy or bite wafers may help increase blood flow to your teeth and gums and decrease inflammation. Get them from your dentist or orthodontist or online here.
These are going to be gentle on your braces and on your sore teeth. Smoothies, soft fruits, mashed potatoes and yogurt are some great foods to eat after your braces appointment. Check out some other posts here, here and here for some recipes!
Ice & Cold Water
Using an ice pack can help with areas of soreness or inflammation. And drinking or swishing with cold water can also help to ease in the same way.
Over-the-Counter Pain Medication
You can take your choice of over-the-counter pain medication if needed. Ibuprofen is an anti-inflammatory medication and will usually have a better affect than acetaminophen. You can also use a topical anesthetic gel such as Orajel for specific areas. Remember always check with your doctor, follow the package directions, and do not overuse!