6 Tips To Make Wearing Braces More Comfortable
Dr. Bhupendra Kannojiy
January 05, 2021
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 condition, your 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 appliances. This 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 arch wire 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:
- Check if any of the brackets are sharp or causing pain to your cheeks or gums
- Check if any wires are too long with your fingers. These can poke into your cheek or gums
- 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 it. Cold water 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 arch wire, it is likely that certain movements of the lips or tongue can 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 salt water
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 overtime. If the pain or irritation is too much, you can address it by rinsing your mouth with salt water. 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 with 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 a mouthwash to rinse your mouth completely after meals.
Ask your dentist which foods to avoid
In order 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 skin. Be 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 with regard to maintaining optimal oral health. The routine salt water 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 all. However, to ensure this effort isn’t in vain, you need the right specialist. Thankfully, with the Bajaj Finserv Health App, finding the best dentist is now easier than ever.
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