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How Can I Make Wearing Braces More Comfortable?

teen with braces learns how to make wearing braces more comfortable

Nowadays, braces are more comfortable than ever before! High-quality materials and advanced technologies have helped to make the treatment experience more effective, more efficient, and far more comfortable than ever before.

Braces are not painful, but they can cause some minor soreness sometimes. There are a number of precautions you can take to minimize this soreness, along with modern appliances that serve as mouth protectants (such as OrthoDots® clear and lip bumpers) that help to improve the treatment experience.

We’re here to help you make the most out of your treatment experience with 5 tips to make brace more comfortable:

1. Commit to Your Oral Hygiene

Practicing good oral hygiene is the first step to ensuring a smooth orthodontic treatment. Keeping your braces clean is crucial, because there are tons of space in your brackets and wires for food to become lodged. Food buildup leads to bacteria buildup, which can cause cavities or tooth decay—and these conditions definitely don’t feel good. They can certainly make braces less comfortable.

The American Dental Association (ADA) recommends brushing your teeth at least twice a day for 2 minutes each time. (To achieve better results, try using a fluoride toothpaste!)

Take your time while you’re brushing, and be sure to clean the front surfaces of your teeth, the back surfaces, and the chewing surfaces. Try to spend 10 seconds brushing each tooth.

Flossing is another essential component of your oral care. Use an interdental brush, Waterpik, or floss threader to finish off your oral hygiene routine. Healthy, clean teeth are happy teeth!

2. Use Orthodontic Wax for Braces

Orthodontic wax that can be placed over a bracket or stuck to the end of an archwire to protect your cheeks and tongue. Ortho wax is made of a soft material (paraffin, beeswax, or carnauba wax) that can be molded easily over brackets, wires, and on certain appliances.

OrthoDots® are similar to orthodontic wax—except they’re in ‘dot’ form. OrthoDots CLEAR are individual silicone dots, made of a non-toxic material. These dots can be used with any appliance and can be worn while you eat and drink.

3. Or, Try a Lip Protectant for Braces

The lip protector is another efficient way to protect your gums and cheeks. A lip protector is essentially a clear tube that shields your brackets and wires. It appears like one long ortho dot, spanning across all brackets and wires. A lip protector can be snapped securely into place, over your brackets, for a comfortable fit.

4. Gargle a Salt Water Rinse

Salt water is an excellent, natural treatment method that can alleviate soreness. If your mouth is sore, try out the following steps for relief.

  1. Mix 1 teaspoon of salt with a ½ cup of lukewarm water.
  2. Gargle this mix by swishing it around either side of your cheeks for about 30 seconds.
  3. Spit out the solution.
  4. Repeat this treatment as often as you need!

5. Eat a Braces-Friendly Diet

Following a braces-friendly diet can help to minimize discomfort and prevent damage to your brackets and wires.

It’s best to avoid foods that are especially sticky or chewy, because they can pull a bracket off or dislodge a wire. For foods that require you to bite into them, like apples or corn on the cob, try cutting them into smaller pieces.

Biting into hard, sticky or chewy foods can not only damage your braces, but cause tooth pain too. (And tooth pain is the last thing you want when you’re trying to make your braces more comfortable.)

(If you’d prefer an alternative to braces, we offer Invisalign® clear aligners too!) Please don’t hesitate to reach out to us with any questions, whether they’re about braces, Invisalign, or any other treatment! We’re here to help you make the best decisions for your smile.

If you haven’t begun your process yet and you’re ready to take the first step, we encourage you to request your complimentary consultation with us at any of our 8 locations!