Teeth feeling tender after your monthly visit to the orthodontist? Discomfort is only temporary, and will fade within a few days. But how can you get through life normally during those brief periods of wincing whenever you bite down? By making these helpful tips a part of your daily life. Tweaking your diet and daily habits will help keep your teeth twinge-free and your braces safe from damage.
Remember, if you’re ever unsure as to how you should be treating your braces, just get in touch for assistance. And if a wire is poking your cheek or gums after your appointment, stop by the office so that we can get you feeling comfortable again.
Proper Treatment of Teeth Sore from Braces
Wondering why your teeth ache after your monthly braces check-ups? It has to do with the new wires placed through your brackets. These wires are carefully bent into precise shapes before they’re connected to your braces. Once they are exposed to warmer temperatures in your mouth, the wires strain to return to their previous curve. This applies gradual pressure to your teeth to continue your straightening.
Your teeth become used to the new pressure within a few days, and you’ll no longer feel sore. But in the meantime, we want you to feel like yourself – and that means adopting these temporary practices:
- Eat right – Stock up on soft foods and nutrient-rich drinks the day before your appointment, so that you’re ready for action once your new wires are in place. Patients find comfortable eating with yogurt, mashed potatoes, smoothies, steamed vegetables, Jell-O, sorbet, soup, beans, bananas, applesauce, pudding, and other foods requiring little to no chewing. Frozen foods are extra soothing because they help numb your mouth and reduce pain. You’ll be back to normal (but braces-safe) eating within a couple days.
- Treat your teeth (and braces) with care – Your mouth is more delicate now, and you want to do everything possible to keep your brackets and wires safe from harm, and also avoid jostling tender teeth. Brush and floss regularly but gently, avoid clenching or grinding, and wear proper protection if playing contact sports.
- Take OTC painkillers – You shouldn’t take painkillers every day, but using them the day after your braces appointment will help reduce tenderness.
- Salt water rinse – Salt water helps reduce inflammation and chances of infection, which is helpful if you have small cuts in your mouth from cheeks rubbing against brackets or wires. Swish with the salt water for up to 30 seconds, then spit it out.
- Stock up on wax – You may have an archwire poking the back of your mouth after an appointment. Cover the offending end with orthodontic wax, and give us a call so that we can correct the problem. If you’re low on wax, just ask for a supply at your next exam.