Braces can correct teeth that are crooked or poorly aligned. They can correct bite issues and prevent crowding. However, the process of getting and wearing braces can sometimes be uncomfortable. Find relief from orthodontic discomfort with these five tips.

1. Clean between your teeth.

Food particles stuck between your teeth can make your gums ache. Not to mention, it can also lead to cavities. Clean between your teeth at least once a day to keep your mouth feeling comfortable. You can use special floss made for people wearing orthodontic devices. This floss has a stiff piece of plastic on one end so it can be threaded through the wires of your braces. If that seems too difficult, you can also use a water irrigator to flush out food particles.

2. Use dental wax.

The metal of your braces' wires and brackets can irritate the delicate lining of your mouth. Fortunately, you don't have to suffer through it. Dental wax can be used to cover sharp edges to prevent cuts and pain. Simply soften a little bit of dental wax in clean hands and apply it where you need relief. Just remember to remove dental wax before eating in order to avoid swallowing it.

3. Take over-the-counter painkillers.

Braces shouldn't be constantly painful, but your jaw, gums, and teeth may feel particularly sensitive right after your braces are tightened. Painkillers can help you feel better until your mouth adjusts to the new pressure. NSAIDs, such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen, are excellent choices. Follow the directions that come with your medication, and never take more than the recommended dose in 24 hours. If you need additional relief, you can use topical analgesic creams meant for oral use.

4. Eat soft foods.

When your mouth is sore from having your braces tightened, you can give yourself a break from difficult foods. Choose things that don't hurt your mouth, such as pudding, porridge, and soup. Smoothies are a healthy choice, and the cold temperature can provide additional pain relief.

5. Use a bite wafer.

If your teeth are feeling tight and uncomfortable in your braces, sometimes biting down can make them feel better. A bite wafer will allow you to do this safely. Bite wafers are flat pieces of colorful plastic that you can chew when you feel pain due to your braces. When you bite down, you encourage circulation in your mouth. This can help your soft tissues heal faster.

For more information, reach out to orthodontics services in your area.