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How to Manage Braces and Orthodontic Trays to Minimize Pain

By February 16, 2021No Comments

Orthodontic treatment is very important for those whose teeth did not come in perfectly aligned to where they should ideally be. An over-crowded set makes them hard to clean, inviting periodontal infections that can lead to the teeth ultimately falling out. When teeth have gaps between them, this may make it embarrassing to smile. An orthodontist has the training and experience to guide you through the process of gently changing the position of your unique set of teeth so that you have a new, self-confident, and beautiful smile. Over 92% of those who have had orthodontic treatment recommend it.

This can be done at any age, but some may hesitate because they’ve heard braces can be painful. This is an exaggeration about the discomfort that some feel when they start with any type of braces or orthodontic tray or just after each step of an adjustment is made to slowly move teeth to their proper position. Usually, if you just wait a bit, this subsides. However, if you find the tightening or newly fitted trays uncomfortable, there are many ways to ease the feeling:

Use Orthodontic Wax

You will probably be given this nontoxic dental wax that can be placed wherever you feel an irritation, such as if the wires of braces poke your lips or cheeks. Just clean it off before you eat and after you brush and floss, then reapply.

Use a Cold Compress

Cold numbs pain and reduces inflammation, so relief can be had quickly if you place a cold compress, ice pack, or bag of frozen vegetables to the outside of the mouth.

Drink cold water: Just as an ice pack can minimize pain, sipping ice water can numb pain as needed.

Or try rinsing with warm salt water: This can help clean and heal any painful area.

Apply a Topical Anesthetic

Use your finger or a cotton swab to dab an anesthetic like Anbesol or Orajel to gums or teeth that feel sensitive.

Take an Over-the-counter Medication

If your mouth does not quickly adjust to the new pressure on teeth from a new set of trays or repositioning of the braces, you can try using an OTC pain medication. Or if your experience is that you will always feel some discomfort from adjustments or wearing new trays, take this an hour in advance. 

Massage Your Gums

Rub the sore gums in a circular manner to relax them (you can even touch some ice before doing so for the extra numbing effect).

Eat Softer Foods

Unless you are using removable trays, you will be asked to avoid hard candy, gum, and sticky or crunchy food while undergoing treatment, lest these damage the braces or make them hard to clean. If you feel pain, eat softer foods for a bit.

Make Sure Your Rigorously Clean Your Teeth and Gums

Whatever your method of orthodontic treatment, avoid periodontal infections that can cause pain and will complicate the process by brushing after breakfast and before you go to bed for two minutes, when you will also floss.