Straightening your teeth with braces, Invisalign, or another orthodontic appliance will offer many oral health benefits. Though the advantages are clear, you might feel nervous about the potential pain that these treatments can cause you.
Shifting teeth as you align your smile may feel sore due to the pressure exerted on the teeth. The change in the blood flow that occurs from this pressure can cause inflammation that may then feel sore.
Your orthodontist can help you manage these symptoms so that you can continue your treatment without too much discomfort. Read on to learn four ways to ease soreness in your teeth or jaw as you undergo orthodontic treatment.
How to Help Tooth Pain During Orthodontic Treatment
One of the best ways to relieve soreness and tenderness in your smile from orthodontic appliances is with oral anesthetics. You can buy these products at your local store. Rub the gel directly into the affected teeth or gums using a cotton swab or your finger.
You will then absorb the localized numbing medication which will block nerves from sending pain signals to the brain. This provides quick and temporary relief of tooth pain that will not result in disorienting side effects. Follow the instructions on the product for the best results.
Over-the-Counter Pain Medicine
You can also find pain relief with over-the-counter pain medicine from your local store. Acetaminophen or ibuprofen can reduce inflammation and therefore alleviate pain from braces or other orthodontia. Pay attention to warnings and directions regarding this product before using it.
If your teeth or jaw ache after a visit to the orthodontist, you can find relief from your discomfort by applying an ice pack to the affected area. The cold temperature from the ice will reduce blood flow to the sore spot, decreasing inflammation and therefore pain. You can find similar help by drinking an iced beverage or eating a cold item like a popsicle.
Some orthodontic treatments, like braces, come with dietary restrictions. Hard, chewy, or sticky foods can cause brackets or wires to break, so an orthodontist will ask you to avoid these items.
But Invisalign patients do not have these same constraints because they take out their aligners when eating and drinking. However, they may still suffer from soreness as they align their smiles.
In this case, patients may want to adjust their diets to avoid worsening discomfort in their teeth. Crunchy foods like chips or hard bread may create additional pressure on already sore teeth that may result in more pain. Eating softer foods such as mashed potatoes or soup will ensure you do not generate further irritation on your teeth or jaw.
These methods can help you stay relaxed and comfortable during your orthodontic treatment. But if your pain persists longer than a few days, you should contact your orthodontist. They can help you resolve more severe symptoms.