Soothing The Pain Of Braces Naturally
For most people, braces are a minor inconvenience, or a small bump in the road to a beautiful smile. While they can be somewhat uncomfortable, especially after adjustments, many people with braces find that an over-the-counter pain medication works perfectly to resolve the discomfort. However, as mild as they are, these OTC pain medications can have side effects, and if you can't take them, or prefer not to, you need to find other ways to relieve the pain of orthodontic braces. Here are just a few ways to soothe your painful braces naturally.
Alternate with ice and heat
When it comes to dealing with the pain of braces, frozen foods can be your best friends, but so can warm, soft soups. You can place an ice pack on your face to soothe the pain from the outside, or sip on milkshakes and icy drinks to bathe your teeth in cold. Just remember that anything sugary you put on your teeth needs to be brushed off in order to prevent cavities, so try to choose icy foods and drinks that are low in sugar. Cold foods can actually block pain receptors in your brain temporarily, making it easier to handle the discomfort.
Between rounds of cold treatments, try a warm drink or a bowl of soup, or use a heating pad to block the sensory stimulators that produce pain. You may find that either heat or cold is more effective for your needs, or you can try alternating between the two for best results.
Rinse your mouth with warm salt water
Salt water has cleansing properties which can help any small cuts or sores in your mouth heal faster. Rinsing with salt water has long been a favorite recommendation of dentists and orthodontists because it can safely treat a number of oral health problems from sore throats to orthodontic pain. By rinsing with a saline solution, you can temporarily reduce the pH level inside your mouth, making it impossible for bacteria to thrive.
Rinse with warm salt water several times a day as needed to relieve your dental pain. To make the rinse, just combine 1/2 tsp. of salt with one cup of warm water. Rinse, spit and repeat until you've used the entire cup.
Use dental wax
There's a reason your orthodontist gave you a tiny container of wax when you left the office. Dental wax is a valuable tool in the fight against braces pain because much of your pain may be associated with the small cuts and abrasions that the metal part of your braces inflict upon the inside of your mouth. If these small cuts get infected, they can become even more painful, so cover any part of your braces that feel scratchy or irritating with a lump of dental wax to reduce the irritation.
Feel free to use as much or as little wax as you like. It's designed to come off when your orthodontist pulls at it, though it may also fall off while you're eating or talking. Wax tends to stick better to dry braces, so blot the offending piece of metal dry with a cloth or napkin before applying the wax for best results.
Clove oil has long been touted as a natural toothache remedy, but it can also be used to relieve the pain of braces. The essential oil has anesthetic properties that numb your tooth and gums. Because it's completely natural, there are fewer risks and side effects associated with it than there are with OTC medications. However, it is not recommended for use in children, so speak to your orthodontist before using it on your older child or teen.
You'll only have to tolerate your braces for a little while, then you can enjoy a beautiful smile for years to come. Try these natural pain relief tips to help see you through the tough days, and you'll be braces-free before you know it.
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