Having beautiful, straight teeth makes them worth it, but braces can be uncomfortable. Children treated with orthodontics can experience particular discomfort after an appointment to have their braces tightened. The extra pull of the braces can cause your child’s mouth to be sore for a few days. If your child isn’t completely comfortable, our pediatric dentists recommend ten ways to relieve the sores from braces.
Try These Tricks to Ease Pain
Use Over-the-Counter Medication
One of the best ways to relieve braces pain is by taking over-the-counter pain medication like aspirin, ibuprofen, acetaminophen, or naproxen. Your child can take these before their orthodontist appointment to start fighting the pain before it starts.
Be sure to make sure that your child takes the medication only as directed. Pain medications should not be taken too often and should generally be saved for when other remedies won’t suffice.
If you have any questions about your child using pain medication, it’s best to consult their orthodontist first.
Apply Oral Analgesics
Benzocaine is a pain reliever that comes in a liquid or gel form and can be applied directly to your child’s teeth and gums to help relieve braces pain. Help your child apply the medication using a cotton swab or a clean finger. The taste of the medication may be unpleasant, but it is an effective way to numb the mouth pain from braces. Make sure to follow the instructions on the packaging.
Use an Ice Pack
Some of your child’s sores from braces are due to inflammation, so applying a cold compress can be an effective way of combating pain. Having your child hold an ice pack to the outside of their mouth can help reduce any swelling. A sore mouth from braces pain is just like any other injury, and the ice will help soothe it. If you don’t have an ice pack, a bag of frozen vegetables will always work in a pinch.
Apply Orthodontic Wax
It’s common for children with braces to experience irritation where the metal rubs against their cheeks, lips, or gums. Ask your child’s orthodontist for soft orthodontic wax. This wax can be applied to the places that are experiencing chafing, preventing any discomfort or sores from developing.
Rinse with Saltwater
As with other pediatric dental services, newly-tightened braces can irritate the sensitive skin in your child’s mouth, causing pain from their braces. Constant rubbing from the metal wires can result in sores, which can add to the problem of braces pain. If your child has any sores, have them rinse with a warm saltwater solution. This will help alleviate discomfort and will help prevent any potential infection.
You can purchase a saltwater rinse from most drug stores, or you can make your own at home. To make a saltwater rinse, dissolve half a teaspoon of salt into a cup of warm water. Have your child gargle and swish with the solution for 60 seconds before spitting it out.
Try Cold Food and Drinks
Drinking cold water or eating something soft and cold like ice cream can function similarly to ice packs to help braces pain. The temperature will help reduce inflammation and pain while producing a numbing sensation for any achy areas. If your child does choose something sweet like an ice pop or ice cream, make sure they brush their teeth afterward.
Your child can also suck on ice to help relieve their mouth pain from braces, but be sure that they do not chew it. Chewing on ice can cause damage to the gums, microscopic fractures in the enamel, and even broken teeth.
Adjust Your Child’s Diet
When your child has their braces tightened, it causes their teeth and gums to become sore. To combat this braces pain, have them avoid foods that will further irritate their mouths. Hard, crunchy foods like chips and raw vegetables can be painful to eat and should be avoided for a few days. Instead, they should opt for soft foods like mashed potatoes and soup that won’t irritate their already sensitive mouth.
Chew on Frozen Teething Rings
Although teething rings are designed for infants, they can be a very effective tool for combatting braces pain. Your child can gently chew on a frozen teething ring, moving the ring to the places that hurt the most. Gradually, the frozen teething ring will help the pain subside.
Use a Heating Pad
If cold treatments don’t seem to be doing the trick, try the opposite method and apply heat to the affected area. Your child can place a heating pad over the affected area for pain relief. If you don’t have a heating pad, a warm washcloth can be effective as well.
Give it Time
The mouth pain from newly-tightened braces is certainly awful, but it’s important to remember that it’s only temporary. After a few days, your child’s mouth will adjust to their braces, and the pain will subside. While all of the previous methods will help alleviate the pain in the meantime, there’s no substitute for the healing power of time.
Get Support from a Top Dentist
The beautiful smile that your child will have after their braces will make all of the pain worth it in the end. In the meantime, help keep them comfortable as they work toward straighter teeth. With so many ways to treat braces pain, your child is sure to find a method that works for them.
If you’re concerned about your child’s braces, or if you’re interested in children’s orthodontics, give us a call at (702)-832-0508 or contact us online to schedule an appointment at any of our convenient locations throughout the Greater Las Vegas region.
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