Getting your braces tightened can be a little uncomfortable, especially the first couple of times you have it done. The discomfort means that your teeth are moving and the treatment is working!
But we know it can be kind of hard to focus on the long-term when your mouth is sore right now, so here are some tips to relieve some of the discomfort:
Over-the-counter pain relief medicine
Common over-the-counter pain medications like Advil or Tylenol can help with some of the mild pain that comes from getting your braces tightened. To get a jump on things, take a dose as recommended on the packaging an hour before your appointment, then as needed afterwards. Always stick to the directions!
Use an oral anesthetic
Special medications are available over-the-counter which can be applied directly to gums. These are nice because you can put the medication exactly where the discomfort is, but they may also not taste the greatest. Try it to see if this solution works for you.
Eat soft foods
Eating soft or liquid foods can really help in keeping discomfort down while your mouth is sore. Being smart about the foods you eat is important when you have braces. See this post for foods to avoid when you have braces.
Use an ice pack
Applying an ice pack to your cheek over the area that hurts can reduce pain and inflammation. This works in the same way as when you get a sprain or a bruise on another part of your body.
Drink cold water
Like an ice pack, drinking cold water is a cheap and effective way to numb your mouth and reduce any inflammation in the gums. Plus, it’s always a good idea to drink more water!