OUCH! You have new braces! … or, OUCH! The orthodontist just adjusted your braces!  When you have braces, not only can you feel discomfort the first time they are put on, but since they are generally adjusted/tightened/reconfigured every four to six weeks, you might feel discomfort after every orthodontic visit.

It’s a “Good News/Bad News” kind of thing!

Occasional discomfort is the bad news ☹ The good news 😊is that not only is the discomfort temporary, but there are steps you can take to reduce the pain until your mouth adjusts to these “foreign” objects. In addition to maintaining good oral hygiene, including brushing your teeth, flossing and cleaning your tongue daily with your TUNG Brush and Gel, here are some ideas for soothing those sore teeth and gums.

Heat works – so does Cold!

That might sound funny, but it is true. If your gums and teeth hurt, sucking on ice or rubbing ice along the gumline will ease the pain (be careful not to chew the ice, please – you don’t want to crack wires or teeth!) You can even use a frozen baby teething ring if you don’t think you can avoid the ice chew! Or you can just eat something cold like ice cream or frozen ices. If your jaws hurt, applying a heating pad to your cheeks along the jawline will sooth the muscular aches you are feeling.

Wires irritating your gums?

There are a few tricks you can try to help the irritation caused to your gums by new or even fraying wires before you get back to the orthodontist. Massaging the gums will help. Or you can apply orthodontic wax to the outside of the wires to help guard the inside of your cheeks, and even your lips, from being rubbed the wrong way 😉 Also, as with any dental irritation, should the inside of your mouth become so irritated that you have some abrasions, swishing warm salt water will ease the soreness and sooth the sores.

Watch what you eat!

Don’t forget to follow your doctor’s instructions concerning foods to avoid. Pieces of broken nuts, popcorn kernels or broken carrots can play havoc on your braces, get stuck under wires and cause irritation! (Right back to that hygiene issue, right? Got to keep those braces and teeth clean!) You might consider softer foods for a day or so to make chewing easier.

Of course, there are also over-the-counter pain medications that you can try and that will generally provide the temporary relief needed. Don’t forget, though – as with any physiological challenge, everyone is different, so be sure to contact your orthodontist right away if none of these ideas help or if your pain is either severe or lasts for more than a few days.