We see the death-glare you shoot us every time we call it “mild discomfort.” We get it – braces can be painful. Because while you may be experiencing some soreness, inflammation, or sensitivity after getting your braces placed or tightened, we’re experiencing sympathy pains.

But the pain is a sign that it’s working, so…deal with it.

Just kidding!

Whether you just got your braces installed for the 1st time, or you just finished getting them tightened, there are a few things you can do to manage the discomfort.

1. Over-the-counter Pain Relievers

The best way to eliminate the pain is to tackle it as soon as possible. While being careful to follow the usage directions, take a pain reliever as soon as you leave your orthodontist’s office.  Pain relief medication should do the trick, but overuse can be dangerous, so it is important that you avoid taking pain medication regularly.

2. Orthodontic Wax

If you feel like your braces are poking you, you may experience irritation on your lip, gums, or inner cheeks. That’s when soft orthodontic wax comes in handy! Take a piece of orthodontic wax and roll it up with your fingers before placing them on the bracket that is causing the discomfort. And voila! The annoying poke is gone, and the relief is sweet.

3. Oral Anesthetic

Some pain relievers can be applied directly to the teeth and gums, such as Orajel. These gels have numbing qualities that can decrease the pain caused by your teeth shifting. Just spread some of the gel using your finger or a cotton swab, and you should be feeling better in no time.

4. Use an Icepack

After getting your braces tightened, the pain from your shifting teeth may also result in inflammation of your gums. As with an injury, applying an icepack to the area of discomfort will decrease the inflammation and the pain. So head over to the freezer and put that bag of frozen peas to good use!

5. Drink Cold Water & Eat Soft Foods

Lastly, but most importantly, be sure to drink plenty of cold water to help manage the discomfort after getting your braces tightened. Enjoying a glass of icy water is a great way to numb the pain and decrease inflammation in your mouth.
When your teeth feel sore after your braces get tightened, stick to eating softer foods for a few days. We recommend things like yogurt, noodle soup, or our personal favorite… some good old mac and cheese.

Here at Orthodontics LA, we want to ensure that your braces treatment is as seamless as possible. When you’re dealing with pain and discomfort after getting your braces tightened, remember that it’s just for now. The pain will go away in a few days, and when the day comes for you to get your braces taken off, you’ll have a beautiful smile to show off to the world!

For more information on how to manage the “mild discomfort” after getting your braces tightened, visit Dr. Artin Meserkhani and Dr. Melineh Dereghishian at Orthodontics LA in Encino and Glendale.