Oral Health and Genetic Risk Factors

5 Tips for Reducing Braces Pain

Braces are incredibly useful for straightening teeth, but sometimes they can cause discomfort. If your braces are causing you pain, here are five tips you can try.

1. Use a Softer Toothbrush

Brushing too hard can cause gum irritation, which is the last thing you need when your gums are already sensitive after having braces fitted or adjusted. Switch to using a softer toothbrush or toothbrush head to reduce this kind of pain.

If you use an electric toothbrush, you can also switch it to sensitive mode to reduce the irritation even more. Manual brush users should take care to brush more carefully.

2. Eat Softer Foods

When your teeth and gums are sensitive as a result of having braces, it is a good idea to stick to eating soft foods. Avoid eating anything that is very hard, such as nuts, as biting down on these foods puts a lot of pressure on the teeth. Chewy and sticky foods can also cause discomfort for people who wear braces, as they stick to the braces and pull them as you chew, causing pressure on the teeth.

3. Use an Interdental Brush

When you have braces, it can be difficult to remove plaque from all surfaces of your teeth by brushing alone. When this plaque remains in place, it causes gum inflammation which can in turn lead to pain. Every day, you should use floss or an interdental brush to clean between your teeth, getting into all the gaps that your braces prevent your toothbrush from reaching. This routine removes plaque, prevents gum inflammation and reduces your risk of developing gum disease.

4. Rinse With Salt Water

A saltwater rinse can soothe irritated gums and kill the bacteria that threaten to infect them. Dissolve table salt in lukewarm water and swish it around your mouth several times a day. The swishing motion can also help to drive out trapped pieces of food from your braces, reducing the risk of tooth decay.

5. Ask Your Orthodontist to Adjust Your Braces

Some discomfort is normal after braces are applied or tightened, as these devices work by applying pressure to your teeth to move them into new positions. However, you should not be in constant pain that interferes with your ability to work, sleep or eat. Get in touch with your orthodontics provider if you experience a lot of pain. They should be able to adjust your braces so they are more comfortable.