Braces Discomfort Is Still A Reality, But So Is Relief

Woman with braces

At last accounting, there were just over 4 million people in the US with braces. This number has grown dramatically over the previous years. The increase shows no sign of slowing as more people see the benefits of braces at any age. Where once it was only the occasional individual who had braces, now it’s not unusual to encounter them at all! Numerous factors caused this increase in patients receiving orthodontic treatment. Braces have become less costly over the years. Clear aligners can make them more comfortable and less noticeable. It also helps that the stigma against braces has faded over the years.

Braces Discomfort Is Still A Reality, But So Is Relief

The process that your teeth and gums go through while wearing braces hasn’t changed. Your teeth are moved using carefully applied pressure from the orthodontic device. Moving teeth within the flesh and bone of our face, however slowly, isn’t comfortable. It’s never been as bad as the horror stories would have you believe, however. Even so, there are soothing things you can do to reduce the minimal discomfort that comes with having braces. Some examples are below:

  • Warm Salt Baths – Wearing braces usually means encountering the occasional pointy end. While dental wax can help prevent the pokes and scrapes, you still might be sore after. Thankfully, a warm salt bath can ease this soreness.
  • Cold – Applying cold to sore tissues helps in multiple ways. It numbs the feeling in the area. It also helps to reduce the swelling, which reduces the discomfort you’ll experience. You can even suck on ice if you aren’t experiencing temperature sensitivity. Just don’t chew it!
  • Hot Peppermint Tea Bags – Peppermint tea is already delicious, but there’s a hidden medicine in it. Take the warm wet bags and place them on the sore spots in your mouth. You may look a bit like a chipmunk, but it’ll ease the pain. Mint, in particular, is soothing and lightly numbing. You could also consider investing in a bottle of peppermint oil.
  • Heat Pads – Heat has remarkable therapeutic properties, especially when paired with cold. Alternating back and forth between warm washcloths and ice packs can bring meaningful relief. Unlike ice, comfortable levels of warmth don’t have a risk of causing harm to the affected area.
  • Dental/Orthodontic Wax – We mentioned this earlier, but it bears repeating. Orthodontic wax is the most effective way to address rub and poke points. If your braces are rubbing against your cheeks, apply some dental wax to the painful areas. It’ll help shield your tissue from the more uncomfortable bits.

These tips are representative of just a few of the ways you can address orthodontic pain.

Speak To Your Dentist For More Advice

Dentists know an incredible amount of tricks for handling pain from orthodontic appliances. They’ve been helping patients like you live their best life with braces their whole careers. Reach out to your dental health provider and schedule an appointment today! Your teeth and gums will thank you as you experience relief from orthodontic aches and pains.


Alireza Movassaghi, D.D.S and Other Dentist Dr. Alireza Movassaghi brings 30 years of experience to the practice at Alvarado Family Dental Center. As a graduate of the USC School of Dentistry, he works tirelessly to expand access to dental care throughout the Los Angeles area. Along with his passion for expert dental care, he exhibits a love of soccer and beautiful cars.
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