Comfort Measures After Tightening Appointments

Dentist Blog

After your child gets braces, the kid's orthodontist will need to periodically tighten the brackets so that the teeth can gradually shift into their proper placement. These adjustments are typically recommended every month or so, however, every patient is different and because of this, the orthodontist will schedule adjustment appointments based on the patient's treatment progress. While getting the braces tightened is not especially painful, mild discomfort may be experienced for a couple of days after the appointment. Here are some comfort measures to consider after your child's tightening appointments.

Topical Anesthetics

The orthodontist may recommend the use of an over-the-counter topical anesthetic following your child's tightening appointment. Simply rubbing a small amount of the anesthetic gel on the teeth and gums can help numb, or at least decrease the sensitivity of the affected areas of the mouth so that your child can be more comfortable. Oral topical anesthetics, also known as numbing gels, are considered safe and are frequently used for teething pain in babies.

Numbing gels work on contact so that discomfort is quickly relieved, and while side effects are not very common, these products can cause mild oral irritation and inflammation of the gum tissue. If your child experiences any side effects from using topical anesthetic gels, discontinue use and call the orthodontist. 

Warm Rinses

Rinsing the mouth with salt and warm water helps relieve minor oral discomfort while relieving gum inflammation. To make a salt water rinse, simply add a small pinch of table salt to a cup of warm water. Ask your child to swish the liquid around their mouth for a few seconds before spitting it out.

Make sure your child does not swallow the liquid because it can cause an upset stomach. Your child can use a salt water rinse a few times a day until the discomfort from the tightening subsides. To further augment the benefits of warm salt water rinses, ask your child to gently massage their gums to help promote circulation, which will further help ease discomfort.

If your child experiences any unusual adverse effects following their brace tightening appointment, see the orthodontist as soon as possible. While significant reactions are uncommon following a braces adjustment, they need to be evaluated. Severe pain, gum swelling, or drainage may be indicative of an oral infection, gingivitis, or periodontal disease and will need to be treated quickly so that your child's orthodontic treatment is not hindered. 

Contact a local kid's orthodontist to learn more about aftercare.


14 September 2021

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