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Meyer Orthodontics in Brookings Blog

How to ease pain after first getting braces

Smiling Girl with Braces

If you are getting braces but are concerned about pain, you should relax—generally having braces is not a very painful experience.

The first few weeks are where you will experience the most discomfort, especially if your molars are very close together. Then your orthodontist may need to make room for spacers. This step during your first appointment can be the most uncomfortable, since the space is made between your molars very rapidly.

This pain will not last long, and the spacers only have to be in place for a couple weeks before they are removed and you are fitted with braces.

After this, you will not experience as much pain with your braces; generally, people only experience mild discomfort after the initial appointment and periodic adjustments.

Of course, everyone’s experience is a little different, and some people have lower pain or discomfort tolerance than others. If you find you are experiencing significant discomfort, there are some things you can do to make your life with braces more comfortable:

Eat Soft Foods

If your teeth are very tender, eating food that is too hard or too chewy is only going to make you more uncomfortable. These foods are also not good for your braces, so it’s best to avoid them anyway.

You’ll have no problem eating softer foods, however. Yogurt, pudding, applesauce and soups are good options.

You can also eat some fresh fruit like bananas and peeled oranges. It’s best you don’t eat whole apples, since they’re crunchy and the skin will get stuck in your braces.

Treat with Heat

Having the extra hardware in your mouth can rub the insides of your lips causing discomfort, especially early on while you’re getting used to the braces. Rinsing your mouth with warm salt water will ease the pain in any sores in your mouth and help them to heal faster.

You can apply a hotpack to help ease tooth and jaw pain as well.

Ease Pain With Cool Treats

Eating cold treats, such as frozen yogurt, ice cream or a cold drink like icewater or milk can help to dull pain and ease discomfort. That’s right, you can treat with coldand heat. Rotating between hot packs and ice packs can help ease pain if you’re experiencing jaw or tooth pain, though it’s rare patients have to resort to this.

A Glass of Wine (Adults Only, Please)

A glass of wine can help ease the pain a bit, though this is only an option for adults with braces! Red wine can stain not only your teeth, but your orthodontic hardware and elastics as well, so plan accordingly and be sure to brush well!

Pain Killers

If home remedies just aren’t cutting it after a particularly challenging adjustment, you can use over-the-counter pain killers to ease some of your discomfort.

Advil or Tylenol work well, but you shouldn’t take medication if it’s not absolutely necessary. Be sure to follow the instructions on the label. Check with your doctor to make sure you’re not taking too much.

Communicate With Your Orthodontist

Always be honest and communicate regularly with your orthodontist. Let them know how you’re feeling, and they can adjust your treatment and provide advice for you to help deal with discomfort.

Having braces is going to lead to some discomfort, but it shouldn’t be a terribly painful experience!

To learn more about braces, you can browse our FAQ. If you’re in the Brookings or Madison, SD area and are in need of a local board certified orthodontist, look no further! Call or stop in today for a free consultation. We’ll be happy to answer any other questions you may have.