4 Ways Brace Wearers Can Reduce the Pain Caused By Oral Sores
If you've just had your braces put on, or if you've just had them tightened, it's possible for sores to develop where the brackets are rubbing up against your cheek. Most patients already feel pain after having their braces put on or tightened, so the additional aggravation of sores is never welcome. Luckily enough, you can help prevent them from getting worse by taking the four steps listed below.
1. Switch to a Soft-Bristled Toothbrush
Accidentally running your toothbrush against a sore is never going to be fun, but it's often hard to avoid doing completely. Of course, it just isn't an option to stop brushing. This is especially true for people with braces since they need to stop food debris getting stuck. Instead of stopping, switch to a soft-bristled toothbrush. They won't cause as much pain or damage if you hit a tender spot.
2. Use Dental Wax
Sores are created when your braces rub up against another part of your mouth, so creating a barrier to stop that from happening is one of the simplest ways of preventing them. The most common way of doing so involves using dental wax, which your dentist will probably provide. Just rip a bit off, hold it until it warms up, and then put it on the part of the braces that is rubbing. Just remember to take it off when you do brush your teeth, replacing it afterwards with a fresh piece.
3. Use a Local Painkiller
Painkillers in pill or tablet form will certainly help reduce the pain that you're feeling, but sores are best treated directly with a topical gel. This will numb the area, disinfect it, and create a hard layer over the top. Unfortunately, science doesn't seem to have cracked the formula behind a tasty pain relief gel, but a few seconds of distasteful discomfort are still work it if it helps the problem.
4. Rinse with Salt Water
If you don't have any gels or other painkillers to hand, try using salt instead. Mix one tablespoon into a glass of warm water, stir it up, then swish the mixture around your mouth for a minute or so. Never swallow – this will almost certainly induce vomiting. The salt water should treat sores naturally and relieve discomfort, and you can use it multiple times each day.
As with most oral problems, the best thing to do is catch sores early, before they've had time to fully form, so taking these steps when you're only experiencing mild rubbing is probably for the best. For more information, contact an orthodontist in your area.