How to Heal Sores in Mouth From Braces
Braces are a common orthodontic treatment that helps align teeth and improve oral health. While braces can be highly effective, they can also cause discomfort and irritation, particularly in the form of sores in the mouth. These sores are often a result of the brackets and wires rubbing against the sensitive tissues of the inner cheeks and lips. Fortunately, there are several steps you can take to heal these sores and alleviate the pain.
1. Rinse with saltwater: Mix half a teaspoon of salt in a glass of warm water and rinse your mouth with it several times a day. Saltwater helps reduce inflammation and promotes healing.
2. Apply orthodontic wax: Place a small piece of orthodontic wax over the brackets or wires that are causing the sore. This provides a protective barrier between the braces and the soft tissues, reducing friction and allowing the sore to heal.
3. Use a numbing gel: Over-the-counter numbing gels can provide temporary relief by numbing the sore area. Apply a small amount directly to the sore using a cotton swab.
4. Avoid spicy and acidic foods: Spicy and acidic foods can further irritate the sores. Stick to soft, non-irritating foods until the sores heal.
5. Maintain good oral hygiene: Brush your teeth gently and use a soft-bristled toothbrush to avoid further irritation. Floss carefully to remove any food particles that may aggravate the sores.
6. Take over-the-counter pain relievers: Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) like ibuprofen can help reduce pain and inflammation associated with mouth sores. Follow the instructions on the packaging for proper dosage.
7. Stay hydrated: Drinking plenty of water helps keep the mouth moist and aids in the healing process. Avoid sugary drinks that can irritate the sores.
8. Apply a cold compress: Using a cold compress can temporarily numb the sore area and reduce swelling. Wrap an ice pack in a thin cloth and apply it to the affected area for 10-15 minutes.
9. Give it time: Most mouth sores caused by braces will heal on their own within a week or two. Avoid picking at or irritating the sores to prevent infection and delayed healing.
10. Schedule a check-up: If the sores persist or become infected, consult your orthodontist for further evaluation and treatment.
11 FAQs about healing sores in the mouth from braces:
1. Can I continue wearing my braces with mouth sores?
Yes, you can continue wearing your braces. The sores will heal faster if you allow the brackets and wires to stay in place.
2. How long does it take for mouth sores to heal?
Most mouth sores caused by braces heal within one to two weeks.
3. Can I eat normally with mouth sores?
Stick to soft foods that do not require much chewing until the sores heal. Avoid spicy and acidic foods that may further irritate the sores.
4. Can I use over-the-counter pain relievers for mouth sores?
Yes, over-the-counter pain relievers like ibuprofen can help reduce pain and inflammation.
5. Should I use numbing gels for mouth sores?
Numbing gels can provide temporary relief, but they do not promote healing. Use them sparingly.
6. Can I brush my teeth normally with mouth sores?
Brush your teeth gently and use a soft-bristled toothbrush to avoid further irritation.
7. Can I use orthodontic wax for all types of mouth sores?
Orthodontic wax is most effective for sores caused by brackets and wires. Consult your orthodontist for other types of sores.
8. Can mouth sores be a sign of an allergic reaction to braces?
While rare, some individuals may be allergic to certain components of braces. Consult your orthodontist if you suspect an allergic reaction.
9. Can I prevent mouth sores when getting braces?
Unfortunately, mouth sores are a common side effect of braces. However, proper oral hygiene and using orthodontic wax can help minimize their occurrence.
10. Can mouth sores lead to infection?
If the sores become infected, they may require further treatment. Consult your orthodontist if you notice signs of infection such as increased pain, redness, or pus.
11. Will mouth sores affect the duration of my orthodontic treatment?
In most cases, mouth sores do not significantly impact the overall duration of orthodontic treatment. However, consult your orthodontist for personalized advice.