Best Ways to Relieve Soreness from Braces

teenage braces

Published by Dr. Charles Gemmi

A Board Certified Orthodontist and a Diplomate of the American Board of Orthodontics, Dr. Charles Gemmi has been a practicing orthodontist with Orthodontics Limited since 2000 and is a member of the teaching staff at Einstein Medical Center. Orthodontics Limited is a Diamond+ Provider of Invisalign in Philadelphia and Hatboro, PA.

Let’s face it, braces are going to make your jaw, teeth, and gums a little sore. Even if your braces are applied by the best orthodontist Philadelphia has to offer, there is no avoiding a little soreness and pain. Most patients find this sensation completely manageable, but it might not always be for those who have a low pain tolerance or for whom the pain of braces application or adjustment is too distracting.  Here are some of the best ways to relieve soreness from braces.

1. Take a painkiller.

Ibuprofen is the most popular choice, but whatever pain killer you prefer can help decrease the pain until the adjustment or application is causing less discomfort.

2. Gargle with saline.

If you are feeling soreness with your gums or teeth, gargling salt water is a great way to relieve pressure, inflammation, and pain. Dr. Gemmi and Dr. Middleberg will probably advise you do this after they apply your braces, simply to help prevent infection or undue irritation of your gums or the inside of your cheeks and lips. You can make your own saline solution simply by dissolving a few pinches of salt in some warm water.

3. Avoid solid or crunchy foods for a while.

Foods that require you to bite down with force will only increase pain and irritation in your mouth. Stick to soups, yogurt, pudding, oatmeal, and other soft foods for the first week after your braces have been applied. This will help your jaw and mouth adjust to the braces.

4. Have an ice cream.

While you definitely don’t want to increase your sugar intake now that you have braces, eating ice cream can help numb your mouth and relieve pressure and inflammation in your gums.

5. Drink some warm soup.

Warm soup, especially a soup that contains high levels of protein, is a great way to soothe achy teeth.

6. Follow Dr. Gemmi and Dr. Middleberg’s instructions.

If you have specific instructions of what to eat and what not to eat, or to wear your rubber bands or to adjust your expander, follow these instructions exactly. If you do not, your mouth will not have time to adjust to those treatments, along with the braces themselves.

7. Don’t bother your braces.

If you are constantly picking at or touching your braces, either with your tongue or with your fingers, you are not only introducing bacteria into your mouth (if you use your hands), you are also irritating your mouth further.

8. Use braces wax.

Drs. Middleberg and Gemmi will give you a little container of orthodontic wax. This wax is intended for you to use over the rougher parts of your braces until the interior of your mouth adjusts to the sensation of having the braces there.

9. Cut back on acidic drinks & foods.

Acid in fruit juices and sodas can irritate sores in your mouth. Avoid drinking or eating anything that is acidic for the first two weeks of having braces to prevent exacerbating soreness and pain.

10. Suck on a small ice cube.

It is imperative that you do not crunch on the ice cubes, but sucking on the cube for a few minutes can soothe pain and reduce swollen and painful gums. If you can find crushed ice, placing a few chips in your mouth and sucking on them until they are completely melted is a great way to ease the pain of braces.

11. Use a softer toothbrush.

While a stiffer toothbrush will make it much easier to remove plaque and tartar from your teeth, the stiff bristles can be too rough on a sore mouth. Switch to a softer brush that will massage your gums and make it easier to remove food particles from around the brackets and wires.

12. Use sensitive toothpaste.

If the pain is not subsiding quickly, you can always buy and use a toothpaste formulated specifically for sensitive teeth. This will help to relieve aches and pains in the jaw and the teeth themselves until the mouth has fully adjusted to the braces.

13. Use a numbing gel.

You can buy oral numbing gel at any grocery store, usually in a tube that makes it easy to apply to teeth or gums that are hurting. This gel will numb the area for a few hours, which can be the ideal solution for someone whose pain is keeping them up at night.

14. Ride it out.

Realize that this discomfort is extremely temporary. While hurting you is never the goal of your orthodontist, some will experience pain from braces, especially in colder weather. Give your mouth some time to ride out the pain.

15. Eat a popsicle.

If you can find a frozen yogurt or ice cream pop, these will be better than a more solid, rigid popsicle. Biting down into something cold, yet soft, can help to relieve pressure while also soothing the pain away.

16. Make sure your braces are still properly attached.

Sometimes the pain caused after an adjustment or application is caused by a wire that has been pushed out of place. If this is the case, you will want to make an emergency appointment with Dr. Gemmi or Dr. Middleberg to have the wire replaced.

17. Use a cold or hot water bottle.

A cold or hot water bottle can relieve pain in the jaw and teeth when pressed against the sides of the face.

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60 responses to “Best Ways to Relieve Soreness from Braces”

  1. Ger says:

    Very UN pleasant experience, two years after braces has taken off.

    • Lauren says:

      First night no sleep, second night, I used a heating pad and played my radio (a cloth damp with warm water will work too) I got five hours of sleep, an improvement right?

      • Aaliyah Lyn says:

        It is currently 4:12 in the morning and I keep waking up due to pain from my braces. Today is my first night having them on and thought that I would be okay to sleep. I was wrong. I woke up several times with pain all in my mouth and jaw. I’ve been taking a lot of pain relief which hasn’t helped so far.

      • Sophia says:

        It’s ok. I got my braces on today and they hurt really bad. They are making my gums feel super sore and I already took two Advil’s.

    • Jasmine says:

      When I first got braces over a year ago, it took over a week for the soreness to go away. It’s been a year and a half and now I have rubber bands. I got them a couple days ago and I can’t sleep cause of the pain. I was supposed to take my braces off by now..

      • emily says:

        so I just got elastics to help separate my teeth before braces and it hurts like crazy I’m taking medication but that doesn’t work I need help I haven’t slept in days and it hurts and its just elastics

    • Levi says:

      I got tiny bands in-between my teeth yesterday and it hurts to eat or talk. I took 2 ibuprofen and I’m still in pain. Any tips? ?

  2. Hayden says:

    I cannot WAIT to get my braces off!!!

  3. Lisa says:

    I got my braces and It still hurts. (Got them yesterday) I hope the Ways to relive sores from this page works

  4. Grant says:

    Thanks for the numming gel. It is day one and I’ve gotten 2 hours of sleep. I can’t go on like this

    • Rachel says:

      I I just gotten mine off but I remember the first day I had them on and I had 3 hours of sleep and had a French talking exam in the morning and I was in so much pain. Don’t worry after the first few days the pain goes away but until then baby’s teething gel helps or If it is really sore talk to your orthodontist or local chemist

  5. Vanessa says:

    I just got elastics yesterday and they hurt soooo much! I don’t know what to do to relieve the pain!

  6. BackwardsSba says:

    I just got my braces yesterday, and the pain sometimes is so unbearable. I have no idea what to do, and I don’t know how long it will last. Please help!!

    • Seth Hutchinson says:

      Hey! i have the same problems! so i recommend taking at least 2-3 advil’s a day, you know, the pill, and following the instructions. mainly, eat the ice cream! (because its the best tasing option!) LOL!i just got min on 2 days ago and they hurt sooo bad! i feel your pain!

  7. Seth Hutchinson says:

    Hey! i have the same problems! so i recommend taking at least 2-3 advil’s a day, you know, the pill, and following the instructions. mainly, eat the ice cream! (because its the best tasing option!) LOL!i just got min on 2 days ago and they hurt sooo bad! i feel your pain!

  8. Kimberlie says:

    Got my braces yesterday. Feels like someone hit me in the mouth! I keep wanting to bite them off. Ugh! Two years of this?

  9. Hope says:

    I know this is not on the list but drinking hot or warm tea helps ease
    the pain as well.

  10. Tiff says:

    I just got my braces on yesterday and it feels like my teeth are going to fall of! Any recommendations to help the pain?

  11. Esh says:

    My cheeks are wounded now because of the brackets. What to do? Help?

  12. Pamela says:

    Oh my word I just got mine today too and I’m so hungry but it’s SO hard to eat. I feel like my teeth are going to fall out.

  13. Alice Peck says:

    I hate the elastics. They hurt my mouth so much and I cant stop it. I keep waking up due to pain and discomfort and even when I take them off for a second to stop the pain it still hurts.

    • Trin says:

      I’ve had mine for a while, so what I do is I don’t wear my elastics for the first night I just let my teeth settle first. Thennnn that’s when I start putting them on. Please wear ya elastics, because if not they will just give you more and more of them.

    • kaci says:

      I use these hacks and they help a bit. 1. When I have elastics an there really sore I keep one off and take the other one off, so I’ll have one elastics on one side for about 2-3 hours then I’ll take it off then put the other side on. Then at night time I put them both on. It’s a bit of a pain but it helps relive the pain when u have both on. I know that’s not the correct way to use them but if the pains that bad I do that. 2. I drink tea, or something hot like hot milk, hot chocolate or coffee. Something warm always helps, or cold but in my opinion cold makes it worse 4-6-19 x

  14. Ebony says:

    I got my braces tightened and bands that are joined together so that I don’t have gaps and it hurts more than when I got them on!!

  15. Ebony says:

    I got my braces tightened and bands that are joined together so that I don’t have gaps and it hurts more than when I got them on!! I can’t talk or eat properly. Any tips??

  16. Kristen says:

    Bro like, I’ve had braces for like about three months and at the beginning it was going great… until they tightened them. It’s like all my teeth are being pulled at by pliers and hit back in place with a hammer. Also to add onto that, I got elastics. Any recommendations for to sooth the pain?

  17. Sasha says:

    I recently got braces and I thought that it wouldn’t be that bad because I have high mouth pain tolerance, but I was was wrong. Braces are the nightmare everyone says they are.

  18. Tiffany says:

    I just got my braces on yesterday and omg I feel like I want to lie in bed and cry because I can’t eat anything and I eat a lot but ya

  19. Cece says:

    Does anyone else have a numb feeling with new braces? And they hurt when you touch them, especially one of two teeth

  20. hannah says:

    I got my braces on yesterday and boy they are a pain in the asssss! my mouth hurts sooo bad! i can barely eat. im starving literally! i tried popping a pain pill. it didnt work

  21. Kennedi says:

    due to tons of moving around I’ve had my braces on for nearly 5 years! just got them tightened a crazy amount today and I feel like it’s the beginning all over again 🙁 I’d forgotten how bad it gets! goodbye cheez-itz ?

  22. JAGADISH says:

    I have a rubber in between my teeth, the pain is terrible then braces

  23. Cody says:

    I just got my braces on two days ago. Haven’t had an issue yet with them. Even when they put the power chain on my front teeth (little weird feeling).

    I wonder if it depends on the office who puts the braces on.

  24. Sonja Wardlaw says:

    My jaw is so row it hurt I can’t eat nothing.

  25. Lilirose says:

    I found this thing at the pharmacy. It has an applicator stick. You put some of the liquid on the applicator stick and put it where your wounded cheek is. It makes the spot cold and then numb, and you can’t feel the pain there anymore.

  26. divine says:

    i just got my braces today and i cant sleep and my mouth feels like it is going to fall out and i feel like just taking them off
    some one tell me what to do to make it stop hurting.

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