Pain and Soreness

How Much Pain is Normal?

It is normal for teeth to be sore for 2-3 days after braces are placed or adjusted.  You may also feel irritation on the cheeks, lips and tongue lasting for 1-2 weeks as they toughen and become accustomed to the braces rubbing against them.

Pain Relief

Gargling with lukewarm salt water (1 tsp. salt to 8 oz. of water) can help with tender teeth.  You can also try over the counter pain relievers such as ibuprofen and acetaminophen to relieve soreness.  For irritation to the soft tissues in your mouth, we can supply you with wax to create a protective barrier on the outside of the braces.

Loose Teeth

While a bit unsettling, it is also normal for teeth to begin to feel loose.  In fact, this is reassurance that your braces are doing their job!  They must first loosen your teeth to move them.  Don’t worry, they will not always feel loose and they will stabilize when moved into their final position.  

Sports Mouth Guards

If you play sports, we can provide you with a special mouth guard that fits over your braces to wear for protection during play.  Custom mouthguards can be fabricated following orthodontic treatment to fit your new smile. 

When to Call

If you are experiencing discomfort and have tried the tips above, please call our office for assistance.  Emergencies including pain, swelling or bleeding usually result from trauma to the face or mouth.  You will be seen as soon as possible, and appropriate care will be given.  A referral to another specialist may be necessary in some cases. 

If you have an emergency outside of business hours, please call our office to get the phone number of the staff member on call.