About one-third of the entire population has undergone orthodontic treatments for maloccluded teeth. If you’re one of the many people who currently wear braces, then you are well on your way to a bright future of great oral health. There may be a few uncomfortable bumps along the way though.
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Your teeth and gums will feel uncomfortable during the dental straightening process. This occurs as pressure is placed on your gums and your teeth start to loosen from their tooth sockets. The pain will never be unbearable, but you’ll want to find a few ways to stop the unpleasant sensations you feel in your mouth. Think about the tips listed below to get a break from your toothache.
Invest in a New Toothpaste
Some toothpastes contain ingredients that can burn and irritate a sensitive mouth, and you should avoid these products. One ingredient to avoid is called sodium lauryl sulphate. This detergent scrapes at the gums in the mouth to cause bleeding and lesions. This means that your sensitive gums can be effected in a negative way when the ingredient is in your toothpaste. Also, a substance named pyrophosphate should be avoided as well because it can cause burning sensations. For your sensitive mouth, look for a toothpaste that does contain potassium nitrate. Potassium nitrate reduces the overall sensations in your mouth to limit the soreness you feel.
Use Pain Relievers
Orthodontic pain will only last five to seven days after your braces are tightened. This means that you won’t need strong pain relievers. Ibuprofen or tylenol are strong enough to reduce your discomfort. Make sure to never use aspirin to relieve dental aches though because aspirin thins the blood and causes the gums to bleed. An analgesic oral gel that contains benzocaine can help as well. Place a pea-sized amount of the gel on your finger, and spread it around the gums to numb the most irritated areas of the mouth.
Eat Soft Foods
Even a small amount of pressure or stress on your painful teeth can cause orthodontic pain to escalate. This means that you shouldn’t eat hard, chewy, or sticky foods. Stick to foods like mashed potatoes, yogurt, pudding, soup, and applesauce. Fruit smoothies, tofu, and scrambled eggs are good choices too. To offer some pain relief, eat ice cream or suck on frozen pieces of fruit. As pain starts to subside, start eating more solid foods, like bread, cheese, and cooked vegetables.
Rinse with Warm Salt Water
If your gums ache after a visit to the orthodontist, a rinse with salt water will help. Add six to eight ounces of warm water to a glass, and place one teaspoon of table salt in the water. Make sure that the salt dissolves completely and swish with the water in your mouth for two minutes. Spit the water in the sink when you’re done. The rinse can be completed two or three times a day to help ease pain. Salt also kills bacteria and promotes the healing of your gums.
The entire orthodontic process generally takes two or three years to complete, but with the right tips and tricks you won’t have to spend time suffering. If you think that your discomfort is ever severe or if soreness lasts longer than a week or two, make sure to consult with your orthodontist, such as a professional at About Face Orthodontics, about the cause of the pain.