Here are some important things you can do at home ro relieve your dental or orthodontic pain incase you can’t visit your dentist or a doctor during lockdown or due to any reason. Just incase, if you haven’t already, we suggest you to read this article here before reading this one below: Home Remedies for patients with “Braces” during lockdown
1. Oral Anesthetics:
Benzocaine helps to numb the area where it is applied and can help sooth orthodontic-related pain and discomfort. Some products include clove oil or menthol to provide even more pain-relieving benefits.It is important to follow all instructions on the label of your topical anesthetic to ensure you’re using it properly.
The product can be applied either with a cotton swab or with a clean finger. Most products have to be applied directly to the area that is causing you pain and should be reapplied every few hours.
2. Ice Packs and Cold Foods:
Ice packs are ideal for reducing inflammation and swelling that comes as a result of having braces. You can apply a homemade ice pack directly to your cheek, allowing it to penetrate through and reach the area where the braces are placed. It’s important to avoid chewing or sucking on ice, as this can break your braces and create the need for an emergency orthodontic appointment.
Cold foods like ice cream and smoothies can provide significant pain relief in areas where the braces are causing discomfort. When using an ice pack, you may want to place it over a washcloth to prevent the cold from being too extreme for you.
3. Over-the-Counter Pain Medication:
Over-the-counter pain medication is ideal for reducing pain and discomfort related to braces. Acetaminophen (Tylenol) and Ibuprofen (Advil). Advil, in particular, can reduce swelling, which can be beneficial for patients who have mild to moderate inflammation as a result of the braces having been placed or tightened.
Read all instructions on the medication’s label before taking anything and avoid NSAIDs if you are on blood thinners or have heart disease or are pregnant.
4. Orthodontic Wax:
It is beneficial for protecting soft tissue in the mouth that is being scraped or irritated by the braces. You may need orthodontic wax for wires that feel sharp or that are irritating certain areas of the mouth. Wax can be applied to brackets that are coming into contact with the inner cheeks or lips.
The wax can be broken off into small pieces and applied to virtually any area of the mouth. Orthodontic wax can be found in most drugstores and stores selling dental products. It is clear and safe to use for oral application. If you find yourself having to use orthodontic wax for overly sharp areas of wiring or bracketing, make an appointment with your provider.
5. Warm Salt Water Rinses:
Warm salt water rinses help with a variety of dental problems. They help with infections and abscesses in the mouth as well as issues with impacted wisdom teeth and pain. If your braces are causing you pain or discomfort, a warm salt water rinse can help to alleviate the pain and reduce swelling and inflammation.
To make your own saltwater rinse at home, use 1/2 teaspoon of regular table salt to a cup of warm water. Stir the salt into the water until it dissolves and use it similarly to how you’d use a mouthwash. You can do a warm salt water rinse as often as needed as it is safe and effective for orthodontic patients.
6. Switch to Softer Foods:
Eating only soft foods can relieve much of your pain and discomfort when wearing braces. Hard foods like veggies, fruits, candies, and pretzels can cause discomfort and pain. Likewise, hard and chewy foods can cause brackets to dislodge or wiring to break making caring for your braces more difficult. Switching to a soft food diet can help in reducing pain, swelling, and tenderness.
Some of the best foods to eat when you have braces include:
- Ice Cream
- Mashed Potatoes
It’s important to stick to a soft food diet after having your braces first placed as well as after having them tightened. Avoiding hard, crunchy, sticky, and chewy foods for the remainder of your orthodontic treatment can help to prevent discomfort and an emergency trip to the office
What If I’m Not Sure?
If you are uncertain about whether your situation requires emergency care, call your orthodontist’s office immediately.
If you are not able to reach someone right away, visit your local emergency room if there is any doubt about the urgency of your symptoms. The staff there can help determine whether it’s safe to wait to make an appointment with the orthodontist, and possibly can provide pain medication to help symptom relief while you wait.
Remember, after alleviating your discomfort, it is still very important that you call our office as soon as possible to schedule a time to repair the problem.
✍️ Dr. Rajiv Yadav
Associate Professor & Head – Department of Dentistry
Maharajgunj medical campus, Institute of medicine,
T.U Dental Teaching Hospital, Kathmandu