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What to do About Painful Braces 

By July 19, 2014June 20th, 2016Orthodontics
what to do about painful braces

Braces result in straight teeth and a stellar smile, but they can also lead to temporary discomfort. After the initial appointment, it takes some time to get used to the new sensations. Subsequent appointments may produce a tighter feeling because your teeth are shifting into place. At Aura Orthodontics we are often asked how to make braces stop hurting. These are our recommendations:

  • Take an over-the-counter pain reliever as recommended by Dr. Sharma. Try ibuprofen or Tylenol for orthodontic brace pain. You can even take a dose about an hour prior to adjustments following the instructions on the bottle. Be careful to avoid medications you are allergic to.
  • Stick to soft foods, such as mashed potatoes, yogurt and soup, for a few days. Hard, crunchy food will be uncomfortable, difficult to chew and can lead to broken brackets . In addition, cold foods and drinks, like ice cream, popsicles, juice, smoothies and ice water can have a numbing effect.
  • If brackets or wires cause tender gums and sores, swish a mixture of warm salt water in your mouth a few times per day until the unpleasantness subsides.
  • Never underestimate the power of dental wax, particularly when wearing metal braces. Roll small pieces of wax into balls and place them on the parts of the braces that are irritating your mouth.
  • An ice pack will alleviate the tightening of braces pain. Wrap the ice pack in a dishtowel and hold it against the jaw.
  • Lightly rub an oral anesthetic, like Orajel, on the gums and on any blisters or sores. This will numb the area.
  • Switch to a soft bristle toothbrush and be gentle when cleaning your braces. You can also try toothpaste formulated for sensitive teeth.
  • Place a heating pad on your jaw several times per day for approximately 10 minutes. You can also soak a washcloth in warm water, wring it out and use that as well.


Braces pain is usually mild and only lasts for a few days following the initial appointment and adjustments. Try our tips and be patient. If the discomfort doesn’t improve, call Aura Orthodontics and we’ll schedule you for an appointment. Remember, you’re on your way to having the smile you’ve always dreamed of!


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