Comfort Measures After Getting Your Braces Tightened

A beautiful smile does wonders for your self-confidence, however, you might have to endure a couple of days of mild soreness every month or so, when your orthodontist tightens your braces. This is a necessary step that helps your teeth get into proper alignment. It is important to note, that not everyone experiences discomfort after their tightening appointments. If you do experience discomfort, keep in mind that it will dissipate quickly, however, in the meantime, consider the following comfort measures that will get you back on track in no time:

Cold And Warm Treatments

Drinking cold liquids, preferably cold water, or applying ice to the affected area will help numb your mouth to ease discomfort and reduce inflammation of your gum tissue. If you use ice, be sure to wrap it in a clean washcloth and then place another cloth over your skin as an extra barrier between your skin and the ice wrapped in the washcloth.

Never place ice directly on your skin or lips, as this can cause frostbite and tissue damage. If you feel that heat is more soothing than ice, place a heating pad on the affected area. Always make sure that the heating pad is set to the lowest temperature, and turn it off when you go to sleep.

In between your cold and warm treatments, try swishing out your mouth with a mild salt water solution, which will help ease your soreness and decrease inflammation. Salt also has anti-bacterial properties, which will help prevent oral infections. 

Numbing Gel

Another comfort measure you can try after getting your braces tightened is applying an over-the-counter oral anesthetic gel. Commonly used on babies when teething, anesthetic gels quickly numb sore gum tissue, and are considered very safe to use, even when applied multiple times a day.

You can also augment your anesthetic gel treatments with pain relieving medications such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen. In addition, try eating soft foods for a couple of days until you're feeling better.

You will start to feel much better after a couple of days, however, if you still don't feel like yourself, make an appointment with your orthodontist. Severe pain after getting your braces tightened is extremely rare, and may be caused by something else, unrelated to your orthodontics. 

Consider the above comfort measures if your mouth gets sore after getting your braces tightened. If you have any questions or concerns regarding your discomfort, call your orthodontist, who will either discuss your concerns with you over the phone, or ask that you visit the office.