Did you know that over four million people have braces in the United States? Although braces have been around for some time, their popularity has increased drastically over the past few decades. 

Have you been considering getting braces in order to improve your smile, or solve other dental problems? One of the problems people face while dealing with braces is the pain when they get tightened. Here are some great tips for how to stop braces pain, so you can live comfortably and get the smile of your dreams. 

1. At First, Stick to Liquids

After you get your braces put on for the first time, you will no doubt be feeling extremely uncomfortable. As a result, you should not immediately resume eating normal food, because your mouth will feel very sore. 

The pain from braces will often last the first few days to a week, so be prepared to change your eating habits for that long in order to feel better. Your orthodontist may recommend an all-liquid diet for the 24 to 48 hours after you first have your braces put on. 

A cold option that is nutritious and can also relieve some of the pain from braces could be a smoothie. You can also move on later to lukewarm soups or noodles in broth so that you can consume more nutrients without having to chew. 

2. Have Cold, Soft Food Ready 

Once the initial discomfort is over,  you should begin to incorporate chewing back into your diet, even if only incrementally. You’ll want snacks at lower temperatures, which can dually encourage small amounts of chewing while also soothing your gums. 

You do not have to head straight for the ice cream aisle to find satisfying cold treats. Some examples include: 

  • Frozen yogurt
  • Fruit popsicles
  • Yogurt 
  • Applesauce 
  • Low fat ice cream 
  • Gelato 
  • Slushies 

Make sure that you rotate what you’re eating so that you can get plenty of nutrients while still staying comfortable. Using these foods, it will be easier to graduate back into normal eating habits after you get used to your braces.

3. How to Stop Braces Pain With Over-the-Counter Painkillers 

When you get your braces, your gums will be swollen and it may be difficult to manage the pain. However, there are a few easy ways to make sure that you feel better that you can purchase at your local drug store. 

Be sure to remember if you have any allergies to medication before buying over-the-counter painkillers and anti-inflammatories. You can avoid potential complications, and if you’re not sure, have a conversation with your doctor first. 

Some of the most common over-the-counter pills that will help with pain and inflammation include Tylenol, Advil, or Ibuprofen. These come in the capsule form, tablets, or even gels that make them easier to ingest. 

4. Avoid Sticky and Chewy Snacks 

A drawback to having braces is limiting the type of food that you consume. Orthodontists warn against classic snacks like popcorn and taffy candies, which can ruin your braces with even a single bite. 

Getting these in your teeth can even dislodge your braces, or pull the wires out and cause them to poke into the corners of the mouth. Usually, these types of problems warrant an emergency trip to the orthodontist outside of your regular tightening. 

However, many snacks exist that are much safer to eat while you have braces, so you do not have to completely change your diet. Some of these are: 

  • Fruit
  • Softer chips
  • Pastries 
  • Chocolate without nuts or caramel
  • Berries
  • Granola bars

An added benefit of making changes to your snack regimen means that you can set yourself up for a healthier lifestyle in the long run. Even after your braces come off, you will likely have developed better eating habits, so you can keep eating the foods that are better for you.  

5. Get Plenty of Rest 

Resting after a traumatic event, such as getting braces on your teeth, can help with the healing process. However, it may be difficult to try and sleep immediately after the braces are placed. 

Sometimes the wires from your braces, while not disturbing you when you are awake, can poke into your cheeks while you sleep on your side. Although your orthodontist can trim the wires so you feel them less, it does not help when you are trying to go to sleep. 

Dental wax is a lifesaver in this situation. You simply put a bit of wax on the end of the wire, and you can sleep much more comfortably. Usually orthodontists will give you some dental wax at your initial appointment, and show you how to use it effectively. 

6. Tell Your Orthodontist About Any Problems 

Depending on the reason that you got braces in the first place, you may have unique issues when you first get your braces put on. For instance, if you have an overbite, then your front teeth may hurt more due to being pulled back so they are aligned. 

Your orthodontist may be able to formulate a treatment plan that works better for both parties if you find that you experience more pain and discomfort, especially if it interferes with your life. The doctor might also suggest an alternative option, like Invisalign

No matter what, your orthodontist should listen to your concerns and adjust your orthodontic treatment depending on what you need. They may also be able to give you advice on how best to treat pain from braces, both after you get them on and when you have to go in for tightening. 

Start the Process Now by Choosing an Orthodontist

Whether you are thinking about getting orthodontic treatment or you are already committed to the idea, you should consult an orthodontist on various issues that arise, like how to stop braces pain. 

It may also be a good idea to discuss the different options for orthodontia, such as traditional braces or adjustable retainers. If you reside in the Fort Pierce area and are looking for an orthodontist, contact us today to discuss your orthodontic needs and form a plan of action.