F&B [Food & Braces] (Part III)
In Part II of F&B Food & Braces, we looked at the changes a patient should implement towards the consumption of food in order to minimise discomfort and reduce damage to the braces. In Part III, we will look at how to manage the pain of a newly installed/recently adjusted braces.
* Use saline rinse
In the days after the braces have been installed/adjusted, the cheeks, gums, lips, teeth and tongue may feel uncomfortable and sore. To alleviate the inflammation and pain in the mouth, a saline mouth rinse can be used. The saline mouth rinse can be prepared by dissolving a teaspoon of salt into a glass of warm water. The water should be warm and not hot to avoid burning the mouth. With the saline mix prepared, the mouth can be rinsed and gargled with it as and when required through the day. The saline mix should not be swallowed but should be spit out after gargling.
* Use wax
Sometimes discomfort arises from the contact between the braces and the cheek, lips and tongue. Other times, a stray poking wire may cause irritation. The best solution to mitigate the discomfort is to apply orthodontic wax to the stray ends of the wire and any sharp edges.
* Take medication
If the pain after adjustment/installation is significant, pain-relief medication can be taken to minimise the discomfort. Such medications include panadol and ibuprofen.