GENERAL HEALTH

6 Tips To Make Wearing Braces More Comfortable

Dental braces can be worn by both children and adults, but in the case of adults, the treatment is usually longer

The dentist fits special brackets onto the surface of the teeth, and these are used to adjust the teeth as required

When wearing braces, you’ll be required to visit the dentist every few weeks to get adjustments made to the appliance

D
Dr. Bhupendra Kannojiy
January 5th, 2021
13 mins read

Having a misaligned jaw or crooked teeth is among the many common dental problems most people face. If you’ve been diagnosed with such a conditionyour dentist will likely suggest that you start wearing braces as the next course of action. These devices or appliances come in different types, usually fixed or removable, and are the best way to remedy the problem.

Dental braces can be worn by both children and adults, but in the case of adults, the treatment is usually longer. What’s more, when wearing braces, it is common to experience some level of discomfort accompanied by pain, especially with fixed appliancesThis is because the dentist fits special brackets onto the surface of the teeth, and these are used to adjust the teeth as required.

Since these brackets sit over the teeth, you’re likely to feel some discomfort on the inside of your cheeks. This feeling is worsened after each visit to the dentist as any adjustments made generally include tightening. When braces are tightened, they can cause soreness in the mouth for the next couple of days, which can make even the simple task of eating uncomfortable. To make the experience of wearing braces a lot more comfortable, here are 8 tips to keep in mind.

Go through a series of checks before you leave the dentist

When wearing braces, you’ll be required to visit the dentist every few weeks to get adjustments made to the appliance. During an appointment, the dentist may tighten the appliance, add an archwire of increased thickness, or add bands to your appliance. Whatever be the case, each adjustment is important, both to the treatment and your comfort.

For the latter, it is key that you go through a checklist while you’re at the dentist’s clinic to ensure you don’t have trouble once you are home. Here’s what you should check for:

  1. Check if any of the brackets are sharp or causing pain to your cheeks or gums 
  2. Check if any wires are too long with your fingers. These can poke into your cheek or gums
  3. Verify that you possess extra elastic bands or other materials required so that you’re not left empty-handed before your next appointment.

Drink water, preferably with ice

Drinking a lot of water is important when wearing braces because it facilitates good oral health and hygiene. However, it is particularly important after you go in for an adjustment. This is because your teeth are usually tender and sore for the first few days, and cold water can help soothe them. Coldwater or ice can soothe inflammation and make this early phase of pain a lot more tolerable and comfortable. However, be careful not to bite down on the ice.

Use orthodontic wax

Orthodontic wax is something you can get at your dentist’s clinic and it is used to protect your tongue and lips from sustaining damage because of the braces. As the brackets are metal, and so is the archwire, certain movements of the lips or tongue can likely cause damage. Placing the orthodontic wax on these particularly vulnerable areas creates a barrier that will protect you from the protruding metal. However, it is important to remove the wax if you’re going to drink something, hot or cold, or when you are going to brush your teeth. For the best orthodontic wax options, speak to your dentist for recommendations. 

Rinse your mouth with saltwater

There will always be unfortunate instances where the brackets or the wires on your braces will cut into your cheeks or gums. These sores can be quite painful but will eventually heal over timeIf the pain or irritation is too much, you can address it by rinsing your mouth with saltwater. Simply mix half a teaspoon of salt in warm water and rinse. This will ease the discomfort and also help reduce the inflammation in the mouth.

Eat soft food after adjustments

After an adjustment of your braces, your mouth will feel quite sore and tender. You may find it painful to exert any pressure on your teeth, which can make eating food quite a task. In such situations, swap over to softer foods until the sensitivity goes away. Softer foods like soups, khichdi, mashed potato, and ice cream are all suitable options until you’re able to chew hard food again.

Maintain good oral hygiene

With braces, maintaining good oral hygiene can go a long way in reducing discomfort. This is because food can get stuck between the brackets and unclean braces can cause dire problems. These generally include tooth decay as well as inflammation. So, the best way to avoid this is to ensure that you brush properly and floss regularly too. Additionally, use mouthwash to rinse your mouth completely after meals.

Additional Read: Oral Hygiene Tips for a Healthy Mouth and Brighter Smile

Ask your dentist which foods to avoid

To avoid complications with your braces, you should speak to your dentist about the foods that you can and shouldn’t eat. Certain sticky or hard foods can actually damage the appliance, and this exposes a portion of the bracket that can cut your skinBe sure to adhere to these instructions carefully as not doing so only invites trouble.

Use an icepack

If you’re experiencing pain or tenderness, the best option to get through it is to numb the area. This is where icepacks come in handy and they can be applied on the outer area of the mouth where you feel pain the most. Numbing the area will offer relief and can make the tenderness more manageable.

Wearing braces on teeth is inherently uncomfortable but with these tips, you can minimize the discomfort. Moreover, these tips also help you inculcate good habits about maintaining optimal oral health. The routine saltwater rinses and dietary changes will help you maintain good oral hygiene and protect your teeth from harm. It is also crucial to remember that wearing braces is a relatively long-term commitment and you’re going to require patience! There will be periods of tenderness and pain, but they’ll eventually fade, and you’ll have a better smile at the end of it allHowever, to ensure this effort isn’t in vain, you need the right specialist. Thankfully, with Bajaj Finserv Health, finding the best dentist is now easier than ever. Browse through all dentists listed in your city or nearest to you before you book an appointment for a consultation.

Please note that this article is solely meant for informational purposes and Bajaj Finserv Health Limited (“BFHL”) does not shoulder any responsibility of the views/advice/information expressed/given by the writer/reviewer/originator. This article should not be considered as a substitute for any medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always consult with your trusted physician/qualified healthcare professional to evaluate your medical condition. The above article has been reviewed by a qualified doctor and BFHL is not responsible for any damages for any information or services provided by any third party.

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