Orthodontists can be a huge help to anyone with crooked teeth, biting issues and a range of other dental problems as orthodontic devices like braces and Invisalign can work to correct these problems and give you a healthier, straighter smile. Unfortunately, while orthodontists will make every attempt to make things as painless as possible, these orthodontic devices are always going to cause at least some pain and discomfort. In this sense, mouth ulcers are generally one of the biggest complaints, which makes it essential that you know what to do help prevent and/or to cope with this all-too-common issue.
What Are Mouth Ulcers?
Orthodontic devices have a tendency to rub against the gums or inside of your mouth, especially when they are first fitted. Over time, this rubbing can lead to small, painful sores inside your mouth, which are termed mouth ulcers. These ulcers are usually quite easy to spot. In addition to the obvious pain and discomfort that they cause, the ulcers can be identified by their round, swollen shape and color. In most cases, the ulcers will appear white or red, but they can also look gray or yellow in cases of infection.
Should you suspect an infection, it is important that you schedule a visit to your orthodontist. However, in most cases, you should easily be able to treat the ulcers at home with the following methods.
Orthodontic wax is generally the preferred method for preventing braces and other orthodontic devices from continuing to rub against the mouth and worse the ulcer. Although it may eventually be necessary to have your orthodontics adjusted to fully eliminate the problem, applying a bit of orthodontic wax over the problem areas is a great way to stop the pain and prevent the problem from worsening until then. Better still, some orthodontic waxes even include ingredients like vitamin E or aloe vera that can speed up the healing process.
Keep Your Mouth Clean
Keeping your mouth clean is key to preventing an infection, which could eventually cause your ulcers to worsen and also make them more painful. Therefore, it is a good idea to regularly rinse out your mouth with warm salt water as this will help to disinfect the ulcers and prevent bacteria from worsening your problems. Alternatively, you could try one of the many products specifically designed for cleaning mouth ulcers or even rinsing with a bit of hydrogen peroxide.
Unfortunately, bacteria not only make mouth ulcers worse, but it can also directly contribute to their formation. This makes it essential that you practice proper oral hygiene, which includes brushing and flossing after every meal and following whatever other steps your orthodontist recommends. By making sure to be diligent and cleaning your mouth and teeth several times a day, you can go a long way towards not only preventing mouth ulcers but also ensuring that any ulcers that are already present don’t become infected.
Stay Away from Certain Foods
Overly acidic, salty or spicy foods can seriously irritate mouth ulcers, which means that eating these foods can cause you to experience more pain or a burning sensation. Similarly, sodas and other carbonated beverages also tend to have the same effect of irritating your mouth ulcers. Even foods that you have to chew too much are generally a bad idea, since the more your mouth moves, the more your orthodontics will rub against your skin. Therefore, if you are currently suffering from mouth ulcers, you’ll want to avoid eating or drinking anything that might irritate the sores or make your problems worse.
In this sense, it is really best to attempt to stick to a fairly bland diet of foods that are easy to swallow until the ulcers begin to subside. One great option is yogurt, as it’s not only easy to swallow, but it also contains powerful probiotics that can help to speed up the healing process.
When All Else Fails, Seek Out Pain Relief
Although all of the above methods should definitely help to lessen the pain of mouth ulcers, it may still be necessary to seek out additional relief in the form of painkillers or an oral analgesic. Taking a few aspirin or ibuprofen is often enough to dull the pain enough to enable you to get on with your day. Still, should you find the pain to be too overwhelming, you can also use an oral analgesic to help numb the offending area.
However, should you decide to go this route, it is essential that you choose a product designed specifically for use on mouth sores. Unfortunately, some oral gels and pastes may end up causing you, even more, pain, which is why you should only ever use one that is approved for mouth ulcers. If in doubt, it’s always a good idea to call up your orthodontist’s office and ask for recommendations.
The fact is that you have many resources at your disposal to fight against the pain of mouth ulcers, which means you don’t have to suffer simply because you have braces or Invisalign. In many cases, all it takes for the ulcers to quickly go away is watching what you eat and paying attention to your oral hygiene. However, should you experience severe pain or bleeding due to your mouth ulcers or should you suspect an infection, it is always a good idea to schedule a visit to see your orthodontist in order to undergo a more thorough evaluation and treatment.
Call Tisseront Orthodontics Today To Schedule an Appointment
At Tisseront Orthodontics in Reston, Va., you can have an examination from our knowledgeable orthodontist. Dr. Stephen Tisseront provides orthodontic treatments for adults, teenagers, and children with these devices:
• Aligners – designed using Invisalign software
• Braces – metal, ceramic and lingual
• Retainers – to keep teeth in position after orthodontic treatment ends
• Surgical orthodontics – removal of baby or extra teeth
Our patients can have iTero arch wires designed at our orthodontic office, and we also offer Acceledent Aura devices to reduce treatment time. Call us today at 703-773-1200 to schedule an examination with Dr. Tisseront in our state-of-the-art orthodontic facility.
Things To Do When Experiencing Mouth Ulcer While Wearing Braces
11720 Plaza America Drive, Ste. 110 Reston VA 20190-4762