I'm experiencing some soreness from my braces. What can I do?
Some soreness is normal for about a day or two following the placing of new braces or an adjustment appointment (what patients often refer to as "tightening"). While this isn't an emergency situation, we do recognize that it can be quite uncomfortable, especially when you are trying to eat!
During this time period, it can be helpful to stick to soft foods, like soups, stews, and macaroni and cheese. Smoothies, yogurt, puddings, and eggs can also be good choices. Stock your pantry accordingly so that you are ready for any soreness after an appointment. A lot of patients enjoy a frozen treat like a frozen fruit bar following an adjustment!
Most patients also find that over-the-counter pain relievers like acetaminophen (Tylenol) or ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin) are helpful as well. Follow the directions on the package and, of course, avoid any medications that contain ingredients you are allergic or sensitive to.
It might be helpful to know that this soreness is occurring because the braces are loosening up the ligaments that hold your teeth in place. Once the ligaments are loose, the discomfort will stop and the teeth will be able to move. In other words, the soreness means your braces are working and your beautiful new smile is on its way!