Getting new braces can be more uncomfortable and frustrating than you might have expected. The good news is that in most cases, patients with new braces get used to them within a week or two. The bad news is that they might have a good deal of discomfort until then. Here are some tips on getting through this time.
Use the Mouthwash Your Orthodontist Gave You
When you get your new braces put on, you were probably given a sample of mouthwash designed for mouth sores. Unfortunately, many people with braces get sores on their inner lips as they get used to the appliances. If you are one of them, you’ll want to go and buy a bigger bottle of the mouthwash that you were given. It will clean out the sores and make them heal more quickly.
Use the Orthodontic Wax… But Not Too Much
Your orthodontic will give you orthodontic wax to cover any sharp parts of your braces that are irritating your lips and cheeks. Using the wax will bring you some relief… but it will also delay the point where you can comfortably go without the wax. It will take a bit of discomfort to get past this. Try to take the wax off for an hour or two each day in the beginning and to stretch that time out each day until you are comfortable most of the time without the wax.
Take an Over-the-Counter Pain Reliever
If you are experiencing soreness in your teeth and jaw, this is a good sign that the braces are doing what they’re supposed to do. Usually the discomfort is the strongest the first few days after you have new braces put on and a day or two after you have them adjusted. Taking acetaminophen or ibuprofen should keep you comfortable until it passes.
Be Careful Eating
Finally, your braces might make it more likely that you’ll bite your tongue, cheek, or lip while eating. Chew carefully and slowly, particularly in the early days when you’re getting used to your new braces. In time, this will become second nature.
If you are having a lot of pain or you have a sore that you are afraid has gotten infected, give us or your orthodontist a call. Otherwise, just know that some discomfort is normal and that it will pass.