A Guide to Relieving Pain from Teeth Shifting

Inflammation: The Culprit Behind the Discomfort

Braces are a fantastic way to achieve a beautiful smile, but they can come with some discomfort. While not necessarily painful, you may experience some soreness after getting braces or having adjustments made. The culprit behind this discomfort is inflammation.

As the wire tightens, it exerts pressure on the teeth, gradually moving them into their desired positions. This pressure leads to inflammation, which can spread through the gums and muscles in your jaw, causing soreness and discomfort. The duration of your discomfort depends on the level of adjustment, usually lasting up to a week. As the inflammation subsides, your discomfort will gradually decrease as well.

Should You Take Anti-Inflammatories?

You might think that taking anti-inflammatory medication is a logical step to alleviate the discomfort quickly. However, this could actually backfire, potentially prolonging the time you need to wear braces.

The Downside of Anti-Inflammatory Medication

Recent studies suggest that anti-inflammatory medications, such as ibuprofen, can impact tooth movement. This poses a problem for individuals with braces, as it can delay the teeth from reaching their ideal positions. As it turns out, inflammation plays a beneficial role in facilitating tooth movement. By completely halting inflammation, you slow down the pace of movement, making adjustments less effective.

Furthermore, anti-inflammatories hinder the chemical reaction necessary for maintaining the structure that keeps your teeth in place once they have been shifted. They also reduce the amount of procollagen in your tissues, which serves as a strengthening building block during bone remodeling. These effects increase the likelihood of your teeth shifting back to their original positions once the braces are removed, particularly if you fail to wear your retainer as instructed.

Acetaminophen: The Preferred Choice for Pain Relief

Despite the need to avoid anti-inflammatories, there is an alternative over-the-counter medication that you can turn to: acetaminophen. This pain reliever can help alleviate soreness while allowing inflammation to work its magic.

By leaving inflammation untouched, you can ensure that tooth movement progresses as planned. Moreover, acetaminophen does not interfere with procollagen production or the chemical reaction needed to restore your tooth structure.

For these reasons, acetaminophen is widely regarded as the best pain reliever to use after getting braces or undergoing adjustments. Consult your dentist to determine the appropriate dosage and timing for taking this medication.

Natural Ways to Reduce Discomfort from Braces

If you experience only mild discomfort, you may choose to forgo medication and seek relief through alternative means. A warm saltwater rinse, for example, can provide soothing relief and can be performed multiple times throughout the day.

To create the rinse solution, simply mix ¼ teaspoon of table salt in a glass of warm water. Remember to make a fresh solution each time to ensure its effectiveness and temperature.

Another method to alleviate soreness is by giving yourself a gum massage, particularly around the jawbone area. Use your pointer and middle finger to gently rub your gums in a circular motion. Repeat as needed to keep discomfort at bay.

Alternatives to Traditional Braces

If you wish to avoid traditional braces altogether and opt for a more advanced solution, there are options available. Laster Perfect Smile, a cutting-edge in-house aligner system manufactured in Raleigh, North Carolina, can perfect your smile efficiently and affordably.

These clear aligners gradually shift your teeth into their desired positions without the need for brackets, wires, or any hassle. Additionally, they are virtually invisible, allowing you to confidently smile throughout your treatment and beyond.

This custom-fitted system expedites the tooth straightening process, reducing overall discomfort and enabling you to focus on your daily activities without interruption. Don’t miss out on this exceptional system—reach out to your dentist today to learn more about getting started.

At Laster Orthodontics, we specialize in helping families achieve healthy, life-changing smiles through personalized treatments, state-of-the-art technologies, and compassionate care. Our tailored treatment plans ensure that our patients achieve their perfect smiles in the quickest, most painless way possible. From traditional braces to our accelerated treatment program, Laster Perfect Smile, we offer a wide range of options. With three locations throughout the Triangle Area, we are devoted to creating life-changing smiles every day.