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Braces are a popular dental treatment that can help correct many orthodontic issues, such as misaligned teeth, overcrowding, and bite problems. If you are considering getting braces, you are taking an essential step towards achieving a healthier and more beautiful smile. But the journey to a perfect smile may be uncomfortable and painful, especially during the first few weeks of wearing braces. That’s because your teeth and gums need time to adjust to the new hardware in your mouth. The great news is that there are numerous measures you can take to ease the process and reduce discomfort.

In this article, we will share some top tips to help you make your braces more comfortable. Keep reading to learn how to enhance your orthodontic treatment and finally achieve the smile you’ve always dreamed of.

What should you know about braces in the US?

In the US, there is a growing trend of people becoming conscious of their oral health. For example, in Florida, more than 60% of people aged 18+ visited a dentist in 2020.

Many reputable orthodontists and dental practices offer a range of braces options to suit your specific needs. From traditional metal braces to Invisalign clear aligners, there are many possibilities. Whether you’re dealing with overcrowding, misalignment, or other orthodontic issues, a skilled orthodontist can help you achieve the beautiful and healthy smile you’ve always wanted. The average cost of braces in the US varies from state to state. Look up braces Tampa FL to compare various options and find the best deal for your dental treatment.

Orthodontic wax

Orthodontic wax is a soft and pliable substance that can make a difference in reducing discomfort and irritation caused by braces. It’s a little like putting a band-aid on a cut—it helps to protect the sensitive areas in your mouth from further damage.

To use orthodontic wax:

  1. Start by washing your hands and drying them thoroughly.
  2. Pinch off a small amount of wax and roll it into a ball about the size of a small pea.
  3. Place the wax over the bracket or wire, causing discomfort. The wax should stick to the braces and form a protective barrier between your teeth, gums, and the metal hardware.

Feel free to use plenty of wax, especially during the first couple of days of wearing braces. Using too much wax is better than not enough, as this will provide more effective protection for your mouth. Moreover, if your braces have rough or sharp edges, you may use orthodontic wax to smooth them down and protect your mouth from scrapes and scratches.

Soft diet

When you first get braces, your teeth and gums may be sore and sensitive, making it difficult to eat certain foods. That’s why it’s essential to stick to a soft diet during the first few days of wearing braces.

Soft foods are easy to chew and won’t put too much pressure on your teeth and gums. Some soft foods include soup, mashed potatoes, scrambled eggs, cooked vegetables, and soft fruits like bananas and melon. You can also enjoy dairy products like yogurt and cheese and protein sources like tofu, fish, and well-cooked poultry.

On the other hand, it’s best to avoid hard, sticky, and crunchy foods that can damage your braces and worsen your discomfort. These include popcorn, nuts, hard candy, chewing gum, and crusty bread. You should also avoid foods high in sugar and carbohydrates, which can increase your risk of gum disease and tooth caries.

Over-the-counter pain relief

Over-the-counter pain relief can be helpful if you’re experiencing discomfort or pain from your braces. Many different pain relief types are available at your local drugstore or pharmacy; most are affordable and easy to use. One common type is acetaminophen (Tylenol). It reduces pain and fever and is generally safe and effective for most people. Another option is ibuprofen (Advil), which works by reducing inflammation as well as pain. However, it is crucial to follow a doctor’s instructions while using this medication as it may cause stomach discomfort.

Combining medication and other measures can make wearing braces more comfortable and less painful. While medication helps with soreness in the gums, it is essential to address the underlying cause.

Rinse with salt water

A salt water rinse is a simple yet effective way to reduce inflammation and soreness in your mouth caused by braces. It’s also a great way to keep your mouth clean and healthy during the adjustment period.

To make a saltwater rinse:

  1. Pour a cup of warm water and mix in half a teaspoon of salt.
  2. Stir the mixture until the salt dissolves completely, and then swish the solution around in your mouth for about 30 seconds.
  3. Spit out the salt water and repeat as needed.

It’s a natural and affordable remedy you can easily do at home. It’s best to do it several times daily, especially after meals and before bed. Repeated rinsing will help keep your mouth clean and free from debris trapped in your braces.

Maintaining oral hygiene

Keeping your braces clean is integral to ensuring a comfortable and healthy experience. When food particles and plaque get trapped in your braces, they can irritate and lead to tooth decay and gum disease. That’s why practicing good oral hygiene is essential.

To clean your braces, brush your teeth and gums thoroughly with a soft-bristled brush and floss. Be sure to use fluoride toothpaste and brush for at least two minutes, especially in the areas around your braces. Next, use a special orthodontic brush to clean your braces. These brushes have angled bristles designed to reach between the wires and brackets. You can also use a water flosser or oral irrigator to clean your braces.

Use of a mouthguard

If you play sports or engage in activities that put your mouth at risk of injury, wearing a mouthguard to protect your teeth and braces is essential. A mouthguard is a custom-made boil-and-bite device that fits over your braces and helps to cushion your teeth and gums from impact. It is especially important for people who wear braces, as the braces can cause additional damage to the mouth if they come into contact with a hard object.


Braces can sometimes be uncomfortable, but there are plenty of tips and tricks to make the experience more pleasant. You can reduce pain by using ortho wax, eating soft foods, taking over-the-counter pain relievers, rinsing your mouth with salt water, and cleaning your braces regularly. Communicating with your orthodontist/dentist is most important. They can give you advice and support during your treatment and help you deal with any worries or pain you might feel. Following these tips lets you get the most out of your orthodontic treatment and enjoy a healthy, beautiful smile for years.