Many people feel significant excitement when it comes time to receive their orthodontic appliances. It marks the start of making the smile they’ve wanted for years a reality—the worries about sharing their imperfect smile slowly become a thing of the past. Instead, there’s the anticipation of sharing their smile with the world without fear. While the journey can be one of months or even years, they’ve finally gotten started. However, the trip is not without its road bumps. One of the first that many orthodontic patients encounter is a period of discomfort that generally lasts no more than two weeks. During this time, the tissues of the gums and cheek may become irritated, and the joints and bones of the jaw may ache. Thankfully your dental provider has ways of easing this discomfort until it passes.
Seeking Orthodontic Pain Relief From Your Practitioner
Orthodontic pain may be common, but it’s certainly not universal in intensity. Some patients may not experience any orthodontic discomfort at all. Others may have trouble sleeping, eating, or speaking until it passes. The most common factors in the level of reported discomfort are the orthodontic treatment being delivered and the pain tolerance of the patient. In the majority of cases, the discomfort is mild and can be managed with over-the-counter medication and dietary changes.
- Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs: This family of medicine includes ibuprofen and naproxen sodium. Both of these medicines accomplish the same end, easing inflammation and swelling and thereby reducing the related discomfort.
- Analgesics: These medications work by interfering with our ability to perceive pain in a mild way. They’re most effective when combined with NSAIDs, allowing the pain to be reduced and soothed in complementary ways.
- Targeted Nutritional Guidance: If you’re guessing this means altering your diet, you’re dead on. Orthodontic discomfort can sometimes be eased by changing what we eat. Altering our dietary choices is a common part of receiving orthodontic treatment, especially when braces are involved. It can be beneficial to continue to do so once the discomfort passes, as well.
Selecting a way to treat your orthodontic pain is best done with your dentist’s input. Dental pain after orthodontic treatment can be a sign of severe complications. Checking in with your dentist allows them to identify the underlying source and ensure nothing has gone awry. Some concerns they may check for will be cavities, abscesses, and other general dental concerns. They can also check for teeth moving in unexpected ways and other orthodontic concerns. Most patients can rest easy knowing that their discomfort will pass within 14 days of the treatment.
Seek Relief From Orthodontic Pain With Your Dentist
The experience of dental pain can often be worse than the underlying condition. The poking and irritation of dental wires into tender tissue are both distracting and unpleasant. Thankfully, your dentist has years of experience treating orthodontic discomfort. Just check in with them, and they’ll suggest the best methods of easing the discomfort and what medications to take. In most cases, you’ll be free from discomfort in as little as 14 days.