If you're unhappy with your smile, you don't have to suffer in silence. There are many options available if you have an overbite, underbite, or misaligned teeth. Metal braces are a tried and true method to straighten teeth, and almost everyone is a candidate for the procedure. Unfortunately, you may experience some discomfort while wearing braces. Luckily, there are methods you can use to reduce this discomfort. Here are four tips to help you alleviate mouth pain while wearing braces:
1. Rinse your mouth with salt water.
If your mouth is feeling irritated, a salt water rinse can reduce pain and help you feel better. To make a salt water rinse, combine 8 ounces of warm water with one tablespoon of salt. Stir well to dissolve, then swish the solution in your mouth for thirty seconds. You can do this up to three times per day until you're feeling better.
2. Use over-the-counter pain medication.
When you have braces, your orthodontist will tighten them at regular intervals to help you achieve straight teeth. After your braces are tightened, you may experience discomfort for a day or two while your mouth adjusts. If the sensation bothers you, you can use over-the-counter pain medication to provide some relief. Ibuprofen or acetaminophen are popular choices since they're readily available and safe when used as directed.
3. Invest in dental wax.
Although some of the discomfort of braces comes from the tightness of the bands, the metal brackets themselves can also irritate your mouth. If you find that the insides of your cheeks are getting scratched by your braces, invest in dental wax. It's inexpensive, and you can use it to cover the part of your braces that is hurting you. Dental wax has no taste, and it can stay on until you brush your teeth or eat a meal, so you won't have to replace it often.
4. Ask your dentist about ceramic braces.
If you have a very sensitive mouth or you're worried about potential pain from braces, you might want to consider getting ceramic braces instead. Patients who have had ceramic braces reported less pain than those with metal braces, according to Blue Ridge Orthodontics. This is because ceramic braces have a more comfortable design and fewer sharp edges than metal braces, making them a viable alternative.
Don't let fear of discomfort stop you from getting the straight, beautiful teeth you've always wanted. These are just a few ways you can minimize discomfort while wearing braces. If you'd like to get braces, contact your dentist or a local orthodontist today for a consultation.