8 Ways to Reduce Tooth Pain After Braces Adjustments

December 28, 2018
J. Courtney Gorman, DDS, MS

Investing in braces can be an exciting decision for you or your child, especially when it results in a beautiful, healthy smile that you both will be excited to show off. However, the process can be uncomfortable at times, particularly when you have to get your wires adjusted or tightened.

8 Ways to Reduce Tooth Pain After Braces Adjustments

At your check-in appointments, you orthodontist will need to make adjustments to the archwire — the metal band that extends across your smile and fits into the brackets. Your orthodontist may bend, adjust, tighten or replace the wire in order to continue shifting your teeth in the right direction.

Each of these adjustments moves you a step in the right direction, yet may result in some light discomfort. Fortunately, this discomfort only lasts a short while and can be easily managed at home.

Continue reading for our top tips for reducing tooth soreness after getting your braces adjusted:

Healthy and Delicious Foods You Can Eat with Braces

  • Gargle Salt Water: You may start to feel sores develop on your cheeks or gums. In this case, swish warm salt water for 60 seconds twice a day to reduce the irritation and alleviate some of the soreness.
  • Eat Softer Foods: The first day or two after getting your braces tightened, we recommend avoiding crunchy or hard foods. Instead, choose soft foods like mashed potatoes, smoothies and soup until your teeth adjust.
  • Drink Cold Water: Drinking ice-cold water after you get your braces tightened will provide a nice numbing sensation in your mouth and decrease inflammation in your gums. It’s the easiest and fastest way to feel some relief!
  • Massage Your Gums: If your gums swell, consider massaging them with your fingers after an adjustment to relax the tissue and ease the discomfort.
  • Wear a Mouthguard: Wearing a mouthguard can be extremely effective in protecting sensitive parts of your mouth, especially after getting your braces tightened. We highly recommend wearing your mouthguard when playing sports, and you can also wear them anytime you’re experiencing soreness or discomfort.
  • Use Orthodontic Wax: Applying orthodontic wax to the metal parts of your braces can reduce irritation you may be experiencing on your inner cheeks, gums or lips.
  • Use a Heating Pad: If you are experiencing any pain around your jaw, a heating pad can work wonders to reduce inflammation. Using a warm washcloth to sooth your pain several times a day can work in the same way.
  • Be Patient: Ultimately, patience is your friend! We know it may be uncomfortable at first, but remember that this only lasts a few days! And in the end, you will have a beautiful and healthy smile that will last a lifetime!

Throughout your orthodontic treatment, we require follow-up visits every few weeks in order to stay on track with your treatment plan. These visits allow your orthodontist to monitor progress and adjust wires. If you have any questions at all about your treatment plan, or are curious about visiting an orthodontist for the first time, give us a call or schedule your free consultation here. We look forward to meeting you!


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