Braces are one of the most popular, tried-and-true orthodontic solutions around, and these metal brackets and wires have assisted several generations of patients with straightening their teeth and unlocking beautiful, healthy smiles. That said, the orthodontic journey isn’t always smooth sailing, and many people occasionally experience mouth sores that can cause a noticeable amount of discomfort. Here’s more from your trusted orthodontist about what you can do to manage these sores and prevent future uncomfortable issues!
How Do Braces Cause Mouth Sores?
Mouth sores can develop in anyone, but the chances are heightened for patients with braces. This is because the metal brackets and wires can sometimes cause irritation or injury to the soft tissues of the mouth, which can lead to the development of ulcers, also known as canker sores. Not to mention, braces can also make it slightly more difficult to keep the mouth clean, which can contribute to the development of mouth sores.
Managing Sores Caused by Braces
The majority of the time, mouth sores caused by braces aren’t anything serious and can be managed at home. It’s worth noting that untreated mouth sores have the potential to worsen. Here are some tips to consider:
- Rinse your mouth with lukewarm salt water; this can help to disinfect the area and promote healing. You can also purchase special rinses designed for sores caused by braces.
- Apply a cold compress to the affected area to reduce pain and swelling.
- Avoid spicy or acidic foods since they can irritate ulcers.
- Use over-the-counter pain relievers such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen.
- Apply a gel designed for mouth ulcers, such as one containing benzocaine.
- Consider other at-home remedies such as applying a warm, soaked tea bag to the sore(s).
If your mouth ulcers are persistent or very painful, you should consult with your provider for assistance; it might be a sign of an underlying issue with your oral health and/or treatment.
Preventing Future Mouth Sores
Of course, trying to prevent mouth sores from occurring in the first place is advisable. Here’s some advice for safeguarding your smile from these uncomfortable issues:
- Keep your mouth as clean and sanitary as possible by brushing and flossing daily, ideally after each meal; a healthy mouth is far less likely to encounter problems.
- Apply orthodontic/dental wax to cover up any poking or protruding wires.
- Drink plenty of water, since saliva has antibacterial properties that can help to prevent the onset of ulcers, and a hydrated mouth will continuously produce a healthy amount of saliva.
- Manage your stress; believe it or not, stress also plays a part in the development of mouth sores, so find ways to relieve any tension you might be experiencing!
About the Practice
Our team here at Simply Dental & Orthodontics is proud to provide families in the Wayland, MA community with an unrivaled level of care! We’re excited to offer a wide range of dental and orthodontic services, including traditional braces, to assist all of our patients with achieving their smile goals. If you have any questions about the blog or you’d like to schedule a visit for you or a loved one, you can contact us online or by phone for assistance. Telephone: (508) 812-9913.