At Home Remedies

Orthodontic treatment can safely and effectively straighten your teeth.

While most patients experience little to no discomfort, there are times when braces could cause slight, temporary tenderness. This happens due to the gentle pressure the braces and wires are applying to your teeth, to move them into the desired position.

When you feel pain and soreness, most often these issues can be remedied at home to ease your temporary pain. Please use these guidelines to help resolve minor issues you may be experiencing.

How to Address Pain and Soreness

  • Try to limit your diet to soft foods only for the first 24 to 48 hours. Foods like pasta, scrambled eggs, yogurt, pudding, applesauce, and ice cream – are all good choices.
  • Orthodontic wax – which can be provided by Dr. Righellis –  can be applied to troublesome brackets or wires to avoid mouth sores.
  • If you develop mouth sores or canker sores from your braces or from biting the inside of your cheek, avoid touching them with your tongue or fingers. Try to leave them alone as much as possible, as they will heal more quickly.
  • Use over-the-counter pain relievers such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen, as needed.
  • Avoid tomato-based sauces, citrus fruits, and other acidic foods, as these will only irritate your mouth sores.
  • Use an over-the-counter numbing agent, such as Orajel® or Anbesol® to provide relief.
  • Gently swishing with a warm salt water rinse can help soothe irritated tissues and alleviate discomfort. Try mixing a half teaspoon of salt into one cup of water.

Home Remedies for Broken, Loose, or Poking Appliances

Even the most diligent orthodontic patients can experience a broken band, bracket, or wire from time to time. In the sections below, we will explain how to handle these scenarios.

Poking Wire

Sometimes a wire can irritate the inside of the lips or cheeks. If this happens, use a pencil eraser or cotton swab to gently push the wire down. You may also be able to remedy the problem by placing wax over the end of the wire.

Loose Band or Bracket

Sometimes brackets and bands can come loose. If this occurs, simply place a piece of orthodontic wax over the troublesome area to help alleviate irritation. If the bracket or band comes off entirely, place it in a plastic bag and bring to your next appointment.

Loose Wire

Sterilized tweezers are an excellent tool to use when trying to place your wire back into place. As a last resort, you may shorten the offending wire with a small pair of nail clippers. Placing a pinch of wax on it can also help.

Headgear Does Not Fit

Headgear will become more comfortable the more it’s worn. Discomfort from this type of appliance is easily caused by not wearing it as Dr. Righellis prescribed. To avoid this issue, closely follow the guidelines given to you by our office. If your headgear is broken, or if the facebow is bent, call us right away for further instructions.

Broken Brackets, Bands, Wires, O-rings, and Chains

These all need to be seen by your orthodontist within a few days after their discovery. If your bracket comes off a tooth that is not attached to the wire, you can just put the bracket in a zip-lock plastic bag and let us know so we can add extra time to your next appointment.

Contact Us to Learn More

Know that things will get better with time. Once your mouth has had time to adjust, pain and discomfort will go away – it will get easier from here on out and in no time you’ll be enjoying your beautiful smile! To learn more about home remedies, call our Oakland, CA practice at 510-482-0600 or contact us online.

Dr. Righellis & Dr. Ikeda
Meet Dr Righellis & Dr Ikeda
All of the staff at Righellis & Associates are nice and welcoming. Not only are they kind, but they are also good at their jobs! I would recommend them to anyone looking for an orthodontist!A. J.

Righellis & Associates

Orthodontics for Children and Adults

2220 Mountain Blvd.
Suite 204
Oakland, CA 94611

Office Hours

Monday - Thursday: 7:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.
Friday: On a limited basis – please call for availability