This is one of the first questions that many of our pre-teen patients ask when they are ready for orthodontic treatment and the fact is that when you start getting your teeth moved you will definitely notice it.
All orthodontic treatments cause your teeth to move- that’s the whole point! When braces are attached and then wired to each other, constant pressure is being applied to your teeth for the first time. This pressure will feel uncomfortable for a few days, but there are a few things you can do to soothe your mouth until you begin to get used to the feeling.
- Try ice. Cold drinks and soft ice can help numb your teeth, the slushier the better. You just don’t want to bite on hard ice because you might break off the new brackets. In some people though, ice can increase the sensitivity. If you only have a few spots that are painful, you might even try a popsicle and focus its cooling comfort on those areas.
- Avoid chewing anything hard. A soft diet is best for the first few days, including eggs, well-cooked vegetables that you can mash, oatmeal, or any other foods that don’t require much work from your teeth.
- Cover any rough areas with wax. You will usually receive a small box of orthodontic wax when you first get your brackets on. If any brackets are rubbing or causing irritation to your lips or cheeks, place a small ball of wax to protect your skin. Eventually you will get used to the extra gear on your teeth, but use the wax for a while, especially at night.
- Take pain medicine. The amount of ibuprofen or acetaminophen that you usually take for a headache is enough to ease the pressure so that you’re not constantly noticing it. Be sure not to take them over a long period of time, though.
- Use Oragel. This over-the-counter numbing agent that parents use for teething babies also works well for new braces. Apply a small amount with your fingertip to your gumline and it will provide relief for at least 30 minutes.
Another suggestion is simply to be patient, because the pain will most likely fade away in less than a week. Dr. Rossen has been an orthodontic provider for all the years he has been in The Colony and whether you decide to go with traditional braces, Invisalign, or even Six Month Smiles, he will make sure that your new straight teeth will be worth all the trouble!