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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  • Fantastic staff who put the person (and their teeth!) at the center of the experience. Child-friendly waiting areas. I've had nothing but good experiences over my nearly 10 years with Gorman and Bunch. Cannot recommend highly enough!

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    Pete Freeman
    3/21/2018

    Amazing experience they all made my daughter and I feel very comfortable, all the ladies were extremely nice. Very well informed. Wouldn't go anywhere else!

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    Erica Wood
    10/02/2017

    We were very pleased with the staff and services at Gorman & Bunch. From the beginning, they were very friendly and made us feel comfortable with our first ortho visit. Dr. Carly was very nice and attentive. We ended up with braces for my son on the first visit and they were quick and thorough and made our experience very positive. Definitely would recommend them! They are awesome!

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    Donia Shackelford
    5/28/2019

    I just started my first week with the Invisalign. The staff has been extremely friendly and helpful through every step.

    Dr Carly’s initial evaluation of my case was extremely thorough and the options were explained in detail to help make an informed decision.

    They’ve certainly exceeded my expectation and from the looks of it, they do a great job with their younger patients as well!

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    Patrick May
    10/03/2019
  • This 64 year old had teeth that had begun to overlap in my adult years, which was attributed to having 4 good teeth removed as a child for "Crowded teeth". I waited to fund Invisalign until incurring no penalty for taking IRA funds, other than taxes. I was fortunate to be referred to Dr. Jason Bunch by my dentist, Dr. Jack Nicewander. Dr. Bunch and his Carmel, IN office staff see numerous children and young adults, but welcome the young at heart as well. I trust them and find them accommodating, efficient, professional and compassionate.

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    3/22/2018

    Personal and professional, everyone always takes great care of my sensitive mouth teen!

    This is our first experience with needing orthodontia, when it’s time for my youngest to get braces, we’ll choose this place again in a heartbeat.

    From the team up front to the team in the back, everyone is so nice and yet so efficiently on task, it is quite impressive.

    They have reasonable pricing and are willing to help with a payment plan.

    Keep up the great work!!

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    1/10/2018

    Very great place! Went there for my first time today and i felt so comfortable and they are helping me fix my mouth!! Love love love!

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    2/21/2018

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    3/21/2018
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    12/09/2019

    Cannot say enough good things about this practice! I've been to Westfield and Carmel locations, both are beautiful with helpful and friendly staff. Dr Bunch is experienced, knowledgeable, and truly cares about his patients and strives to get the best results possible for each one!

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    3/06/2018

    I can’t say enough great things about this office. I am legal guardian of my sister and she is going through Invisalign with them… She’s almost done and I am amazed by the results.
    I also go there for continued orthodontic care because orthodontic retention is for life! So glad I have such great people to care for our teeth!!!

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    11/22/2019

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  • This is the best place to go! Dr. Carly and her staff have made my daughter's smile beautiful.

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    9/27/2017

    I received Invisalign treatment and had a lot going on. As a mom of two children ,under two years old, it’s tough making doctor appointments but let me tell you they make it work! I was with Dr. Carly at the Westfield office and she always encouraged my little sons to come during my appointments. This made things so much easier for me. The staff at Gorman and Bunch were always welcoming and inviting. They would remember you and are honestly genuine people. Let me tell you it is hard finding good medical practices these days but these people are the best. I forever will recommend Gorman and Bunch to young kiddos and adults.

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    1/21/2020

    Amazing experience all around. The staff is super friendly and Dr. Carly always makes my daughter feel comfortable with the work being done. We are thrilled with the progress we are seeing, and the customer service is always top notch.

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    9/26/2019
  • Amazing experience all around. The staff is super friendly and Dr. Carly always makes my daughter feel comfortable with the work being done. We are thrilled with the progress we are seeing, and the customer service is always top notch.

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    9/26/2019

    Amazing office! My daughter was home from college and had an orthodontic emergency. She was not a previous patient. Dr Moran was kind enough to see her. The entire staff was amazing. I would never go anywhere else!

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    10/18/2017

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