How To Ease The Pain Of New Braces

Modern braces are more comfortable than ever – but sometimes, braces can cause some soreness. Learn how to relieve braces pain from our orthodontic experts.

What Causes Braces Pain?

Your braces use wires and brackets to exert gentle, consistent pressure on your teeth over time. The periodontal ligament and the bone beneath it start to move, positioning your teeth in the correct alignment. 

Because braces apply pressure to your teeth and jaw, it’s normal to feel some tenderness for a few days following your first appointment. As your teeth get used to the feeling of braces, this pain should subside. You may also feel discomfort after adjusting your braces, which will happen periodically during your treatment.

How To Relieve Pain From New Braces

While this discomfort is temporary, it’s helpful to have a few tools in your back pocket to ease pain from braces. Here are our top tips for braces pain:


Girl with dental braces smiling and happy

Pain Relievers

Over-the-counter pain medications like ibuprofen or acetaminophen are very effective for decreasing pain and inflammation that may occur from braces. You could also apply an oral anesthetic like Oragel directly to the teeth and gums using a cotton swab or a clean finger. Be careful to follow all directions for the use of these products.

Ice Packs

Ice packs are super effective at reducing inflammation and numbing pain from braces. Wrap the ice pack in a towel and apply it to the outside of the mouth for 20 minutes. 

Orthodontic Wax

During your first appointment, we’ll send you home with a package of orthodontic wax. This specially-made wax creates a barrier between the brackets and the inside of the mouth, reducing friction. Just remember to remove it before brushing your teeth.

Soft Food

After getting braces applied or adjusted, soft food is the way to go. Try eating soups, smoothies, mashed potatoes, bananas, or other foods that won’t make your teeth feel overly sensitive. 

Maintain Oral Hygiene 

Braces take a little more care to clean properly, as they have many more spots for food to get stuck. Left unchecked, this can cause tooth decay and gum inflammation, making existing braces pain more uncomfortable. Be sure to brush and floss twice a day!

Gargle Warm Salt Water

Heat is also helpful to ease pain from braces! A warm salt water rinse helps to soothe discomfort and kill bacteria that may be hiding in the teeth. Swish it around your mouth for about 60 seconds; it can work wonders!

Massage Gums

A simple gum massage can also reduce pain and inflammation! Using a clean finger, gently massage the gums in small, circular motions.

Portrait of smiling teenage girl with braces sitting on chair while dentist standing in clinic

Have More Questions? Contact our Office Today.

Minor discomfort is a small price to pay for a lifetime of healthy, happy smiles! We have even more great tips to help you adjust to life with braces. Our experts are here to help you enjoy a more comfortable treatment.

It’s time to get the smile you deserve. Schedule your free consultation today!