Life with Braces: Counteracting Pain
By Kellyn Hodges on August 29, 2013
Everyone loves the refined look of straight teeth and the confidence that comes with a perfect smile - but no one loves the soreness and discomfort of monthly tightening procedures that come with wearing braces. “No pain, no gain” may be how the saying goes, but finding ways to alleviate tender teeth and gums is always welcome.
Managing Dental Pain from Orthodontics
There are several time-tested ways to manage soreness from braces:
- Over-the-Counter Pain Medication - Many orthodontic patients find that they don’t need prescription-strength painkillers, but are able to manage the pain of braces simply and effectively with over-the-counter remedies like ibuprofen, aspirin, or acetaminophen. Be sure to follow the instructions and heed all warnings whenever using any type of medication.
- Oral Rinses - Having your braces adjusted can sometimes lead to inflamed and irritated gums. Antiseptic rinses like Listerine can stave off infections and reduce swelling of the gums, thereby reducing soreness in the process. A warm salt water rinse is an equally effective option for a soothing oral rinse.
- Wax Caps - Metal brackets or the wire from braces can sometimes scrape the lips or the back of the mouth, respectively, leading to cuts and sores that can cause pain. To prevent scrapes from orthodontic devices, most orthodontists recommend coating any sharp pieces of metal with balls of easily placed (and easily repositionable) soft wax. In fact, most orthodontists will offer packets of wax to their newer patients as a courtesy.
- Warm or Cold Soft Foods - Dentists might not always recommend ice cream as any sort of remedy, but an orthodontist will likely make an exception in the case of tooth pain. Soft foods that don’t require chewing are crucial when experiencing dental pain, and cold treats like ice cream can help numb away any pain. On the other hand, something warm like soup can be comforting and soothing. Experiment to find what works best, and always brush your teeth or rinse the mouth with water after eating sugary, acidic, or starchy foods.
While there are several methods for combating orthodontic pain, some methods work better than others for different people. It’s up to you to determine which method is right for you.
Cutting Down on Time with Veneers or Fast Acting Adult Braces
Another effective way to cut down on the time spent experiencing pain during orthodontic work is to cut down on the length of time you need to wear braces. This can be achieved by turning to techniques like Fast Acting Adult Braces.
Fast Acting Adult Braces (FAAB) is a procedure performed at Kellyn Hodges practice that can be of great help for adults that want to perfect their smile but are apprehensive about the idea of dealing with orthodontic apparatuses and the pain of tightening over several years. The FAAB technique uses metal braces or Invisalign just like traditional orthodontics, but simply focuses on only straightening visible teeth. This technique alone can cut your time spent with braces down to as little as six to ten months.
If you are willing to undergo a more extensive procedure in return for near immediate results, you may also consider porcelain veneers as a viable option for a more polished smile.
Contact Your Philadelphia Orthodontic Office Today
No orthodontist wants to see patients in pain. If you’re suffering soreness and pain due to your orthodontic procedures, contact Dr. Kellyn Hodges at her Philadelphia orthodontic practice to discuss pain management options today.