Orthodontic dental braces are an investment worth the cost, and any discomfort involved in achieving straighter teeth that truly make you smile. However, the discomfort and pain associated with braces can affect other aspects of your life. The pain can be distracting, cause headaches, and can prevent normal and pleasant sleep. While pain medication can surely help a sore mouth, here are a few steps to reduce the discomfort caused by braces:
Eat only soft foods for the first few days.
The majority of the pain caused from orthodontic dental braces will fall in the 2-3 days following the procedure. During that time, it is important to limit yourself to only eating soft foods, in order to drastically reduce your mouth’s movement and stress. Be sure to stock plenty of soft foods like apple sauce, fruit smoothies, and soups.
Try eating cold and frozen foods.
Foods that are chilled have a numbing effect, which can help to diminish the pain and inflammation caused by braces. Ice cream is a great option that can numb your gums, while its great taste is a comfort in itself. Sucking on ice cubes is another great way to reduce the discomfort caused by sensitive, pulsing gums.
Avoid foods with a high acidic content.
Foods and drinks that contain acidity such as citrus can aggravate your mouth, making it even more sensitive. If your braces have caused any cuts or snags in your cheeks, a food or liquid with citrus can cause that sore to sting and increase inflammation.
Try chewing sugar-free gum.
Once your mouth isn’t incredibly sore and its possible to chew without pain, gently chomping on a piece of sugar-free gum can increase the blood flow in your mouth and gums. Just like getting up and moving your body can improve your overall tolerance and strength, chewing gum can build the strength in your mouth and decrease the risk of pain in the future. Sugar is a natural enemy for your teeth, so choosing a sugar-free gum is going to be better for your overall oral health.
Avoid hard and sticky foods.
It seems obvious that hard or sticky foods will only contribute to the mechanical workload your mouth and teeth will need to properly function. These types of foods can not only aid in your discomfort, but can cause damage to your braces, which will only increase your irritation if a brace bracket comes undone and causes inner-mouth cuts and scrapes.
Discomfort is an uncontrollable part of getting braces, simply because of the fact that your mouth has been forced to share the same space with a foreign body, and has been tightened and altered in an unnatural way. If you follow these basic tips, you can greatly reduce the stress and pain brought upon by orthodontic dental braces.