Whether you have Invisalign clear aligners or traditional braces, incorporating a new orthodontic appliance into your life will cause you to go through an adjustment period. The best way to address these changes is to anticipate them happening and know what to do to ease your discomfort or prevent additional oral irritation. Read on to learn five of the most common problems patients with braces experience and how to solve them.
will cause you to go through an adjustment period. The best way to address these changes is to anticipate them happening and know what to do to ease your discomfort or prevent additional oral irritation. Read on to learn five of the most common problems patients with braces experience and how to solve them.
1. Increased Dental Sensitivity
One of the most common sensations after getting braces put on is heightened tooth sensitivity. Typically, this is most notable at the beginning of treatment, but you may also notice it after each time your braces get tightened. The best way to combat this problem is to use a topical ointment (typically recommended by your dentist), like Orajel, that can help numb your gums and teeth for a short period of time.
2. Irritation & Sores on the Inside of the Cheek
Your brackets and archwires will likely be made of metal, which can grate and brush against the inside of your cheeks and lips, causing sores and irritation to develop. While this should stop occurring as much with time, you can use orthodontic wax to apply a shield between your metal brackets and archwire and soft oral tissues to protect them.
3. Chapped Lips
There are two common reasons why people experience chapped lips after getting braces: a natural response to your new orthodontic appliance or irritation to your lips caused by the brackets and wires. In any case, you can talk to your dentist to see if they can make an adjustment to help your lips close to keep them dry, or you can use Vaseline lip balm to help keep them moist.
4. Changes in Speech
It’s not uncommon for people with braces to notice temporary speech impediments as a result of their new appliance. This can include new pronunciations of words and slurring, but it should go away within a few days or weeks as you get used to your appliance. While this may be frustrating, especially if others remark on it, it’s important to be patient and remember that this is just an adjustment!
5. Jaw Pain & Discomfort
As your teeth begin moving due to treatment, you’ll likely start to feel jaw pain. This is a completely normal experience, but if it also leads to other symptoms, like lockjaw, teeth grinding, or signs of TMJ disorder, let your dentist know so they can provide you with proper treatment to address your discomfort.
About the Author
Dr. Rafiq Hirji has over 10 years of experience in the dental field with years of continuing education beneath his belt, including specialized training in orthodontics. This allows him to offer both traditional braces and Invisalign to his patients. If you’ve been considering straightening your smile and want to take the first step in the process towards doing so, please visit our website or call 972-546-4114 to schedule a consultation.