You know that the decision to get braces was the right one. Your orthodontic care will one day yield a beautiful smile – the journey, however, may come with its ups and downs. For instance, you’ve started to notice a bit of pain after you get your wires adjusted. Or, perhaps you’ve been getting headaches from the pressure of tightened wires. Whatever it is, you’re uncomfortable, and we’ve got some tips to keep you pain free.

Enjoy cold food and drink.

You guessed it! Popsicles, freezies and ice cream for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Nothing wrong with that, right? All jokes aside, cold food and drinks can help ease the discomfort by reducing inflammation or numbing the parts of your mouth that are experiencing the most pain. Your orthodontist may also have used wires that will react with the cold food or drinks and decrease the pressure on your teeth.

Modify your diet.

Eating crunchy or hard foods might negatively affect your braces or how your mouth responds to your orthodontic care. Plus, eating harder foods may cause discomfort for a day or two after you have had a checkup. Your teeth may feel a little tender when you chew. Choosing soft foods like soup, yogurt, pudding, eggs, pasta or mashed potatoes can help ease the discomfort. There are many excellent food options available.

Swish with salt water.

Sometimes your lips or cheeks may rub against the new braces or wires. This can cause an irritation sore to develop. The best thing to do is rinse with warm salt water. This will ease the irritation and help the area to heal.

Grab the ice.

Irritation from your braces can cause inflammation and general soreness. Sometimes, treating this pain like you would a sore joint or muscle can improve your well-being: try using an ice pack on your cheek to soothe what ails you. You may also want to speak to your orthodontist about taking acetaminophen or ibuprofen.

Don’t forget the orthodontic wax!

Your inner cheeks can take a bit of a beating over the course of your orthodontic treatment. Your lips or gums, too. This happens when a wire pokes or gets loose from its bracket, or something just isn’t sitting right in between checkups. Apply a little orthodontic wax to the area and watch your worries melt away.