Braces are a tried-and-true orthodontic solution that has assisted countless patients across multiple generations with achieving straighter, healthier, more attractive smiles. Unfortunately, as effective as they are at addressing dental misalignment, bite problems, and other orthodontic issues, they still come with some minor issues and discomforts that aggravate patients. Here’s a closer look at a few of these issues along with some effective ways for resolving them and promoting a more comfortable orthodontic journey.
1. Increased Dental Sensitivity
This is perhaps the most common issue experienced by patients with braces; it’s generally most noticeable right after you’ve received them, and it spikes up each time you have them tightened or adjusted. The best way to address this issue is by taking a mild painkiller or using a topical ointment like Orajel or a similar product to desensitize your teeth and gums.
2. Irritation & Sores Inside the Mouth
The metal brackets and archwires can brush and press against the soft oral tissues of your mouth, causing sores and general discomfort. This should stop occurring after a while as you adjust to your braces, but it can also be greatly mitigated by applying orthodontic wax as a shield between your braces and mouth. It’s also possible for patients’ lips to become chapped due to irritation from braces.
3. Speech Impediments
It’s not unheard of for patients with braces to have trouble speaking at first. Usually, this is only a temporary setback, and after practicing for a while, most patients are able to overcome any initial impediments and learn to speak with ease once more. However, some speech issues remain until the braces come off. In any case, speaking in front of a mirror or with a friend or family member can be good practice—just don’t feel embarrassed by any means if you aren’t able to easily pronounce everything!
4. Jaw Pain
Orthodontic treatment can leave you with pain in your jawbones; after all, your teeth are literally being pushed and pulled around your mouth. That said, jaw pain is perfectly normal and can often be managed with at-home remedies like over-the-counter painkillers, cold compresses, saltwater rinses, and of course, patience—over time, the pain should lessen as your teeth assume their correct positions. If you’re experiencing growing pain, though, don’t hesitate to contact your provider; especially if your TMJ, or temporomandibular joints, hurt.
5. Bad Breath
Of course, it’s also possible for patients with braces to experience foul breath if they aren’t able to keep their teeth and braces consistently clean. This can be worsened by eating certain foods, too—so be sure that you’re brushing after every single meal while you have braces and flossing diligently to prevent the food debris from becoming trapped beneath the brackets and wires. Even after you have braces and move on to wearing your retainer, it’s important to keep that device clean as well since it can easily hold onto smells.
About the Practice
The talented team at Willow Bend Orthodontics of Plano is excited to provide patients and families in the Plano, TX community with an exceptional level of orthodontic service! Under the leadership of Dr. Tamara L. Jones and Dr. Megan Hanson, the practice offers a wide range of treatments suited for patients of all ages and would be more than happy to assist you and your family with achieving your smile goals. If you have any questions about the blog or you’d like to schedule a visit for you or a loved one, feel free to contact the practice online or over the phone for additional information or assistance. Telephone: (972) 732-1400.