According to The American Association of Orthodontists, an estimated 3.9 million children are undergoing orthodontic treatment in the United States. If your child doesn’t have braces, the likelihood they’ll need them in the future is quite high. While orthodontic treatment offers many advantages, such as lowering the risk of developing jaw issues and enhancing overall oral health, the soreness brought on by braces can be quite frustrating for your child. Thankfully, our orthodontists have put together some techniques for alleviating the pain. Here are ways to reduce soreness from braces.
1. Oral Anesthetics
Rubbing an oral anesthetic on a sensitive area is a quick and straightforward technique for reducing soreness. It works by desensitizing your child’s gums and teeth to the discomfort of shifting teeth. You can apply it using your finger or a cotton swab.
2. Over-the-Counter Painkillers
You can use over-the-counter pain medicine to reduce soreness. If your child experiences discomfort after an orthodontic appointment, give them the painkiller an hour before their appointment. Doing this will reduce the pain during and after the session.
Carefully read and adhere to the dosing instructions prescribed on the packaging. Always use over-the-counter painkillers sparingly. If your child is still in pain after a couple of days, reach out to your orthodontist, but remember that all orthodontists are not the same.
3. Ice or Anything Cold
Should you twist an ankle, the first thing that comes to mind is to place an ice pack over the affected area. The cold numbs the pain and limits inflammation. You can use the same technique to reduce soreness from braces.
Assuming your child’s teeth aren’t too sensitive, grab some ice and have them hold it against the sore area. You can also use this as an opportunity to reward them with some ice cream. The cold temperature will help reduce the soreness.
4. A Warm Rinse
While cold temperatures are the go-to remedy for reducing soreness from braces, a warm saltwater rinse is just as effective. If there are cuts or sores from the braces, gargling with warm salt water will help them heal faster.
5. Orthodontic Wax
Most orthodontists will send you home with orthodontic wax. The special wax works by forming a barrier that protects the lips, cheeks, and gums from the brackets’ sharp ends. Use orthodontic wax according to your orthodontist’s instructions. Essentially, mold the wax to cover the bracket that’s causing the irritation. Since it’s a nontoxic wax, you won’t have to worry about your young one swallowing some.
While braces offer several dental health benefits, tightening the wires can be painful. Thankfully, there are techniques you can use to reduce soreness. Give us a call at Parker Orthodontics for further assistance.