6 Tips for Dealing with Brace Pain

Life Is Better With a Smile

teenager with braces

Pain caused by braces usually goes away quickly—but when you or your child are dealing with brace pain, those few days can be a challenge. When braces are first fitted and after adjustments, the mouth needs a few days to adjust to the changes. With these tips, you will be smiling again before you know it.

Taking the Sting out of Wearing Braces

Discomfort from new braces may last a few days to a few weeks because of rubbing metal parts, changes in blood flow, and gentle pressure on the teeth.1 Your pediatric orthodontics office should be happy to help with supplies and advice during this transition to a more beautiful smile.

Some of the best ways to stop the sting are:

1. Apply Dental Wax to Rough Spots

You can get dental wax from your orthodontist or at a pharmacy. It is firm but pliable, and it is used to cover the metal brackets or any place the lips get sore. Pretty soon, you won’t even notice these spots anymore. You can use dental wax at any time but applying it at bedtime after tooth brushing is very helpful.

2. Use a Numbing Medicine on Pain Points

Applying something like Orabase, Orajel, or any local anesthetic designed for mouth pain will give temporary relief from sores or gum pain for several hours. Apply with your finger or a cotton swab on lips, teeth, and gums, following the package directions. Toothpaste designed for sensitive teeth may also help.

3. Try a Gum Massage for Healing

Massaging the gums helps circulation and may relieve pain. Gently rub your gums with your fingertips in a circular movement. You can massage them with an ice cube also, to reduce swelling and soreness.

4. Get a Mouth Guard

You might want a mouth guard anyway if you participate in active sports while wearing braces. You can also use your mouth guard to put a barrier between the brackets and wires of your braces and the inside of your mouth. This helps sores heal and prevents further irritation.

5. Eat and Drink Cold Soft Things

You should eat things that are cool and easy to chew while you have brace pain. Frozen strawberries, grapes, yogurt, ice cream, juice pops, and even frozen teething rings will not only numb the discomfort with cold, but they’ll keep you fed and distract you.

6. Take Medication as Needed

Natural remedies often take care of the pain caused by braces, but there’s nothing wrong with taking an over the counter painkiller like ibuprofen or acetaminophen. Your doctor or orthodontist can make a specific recommendation for you and tell you how much to take or if any other medications might help.

What if These Tips Don’t Do the Trick?

If these simple steps don’t help, or the pain gets worse instead of better, you should talk to your orthodontist’s office for some advice. A bracket, band, or wire might have come loose or something else might need adjustment.

We always want to know what’s happening between our patients’ appointments, so if your child or you have unexpected problems, give us a call right away. While some discomfort is expected during the process of straightening teeth, we are happy to help in any way we can. Give us a call today at 410-267-7300 to find out more or schedule an appointment.


  1. https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/327201#do-braces-hurt