Do braces hurt? How do I manage discomfort?
Arnold J Malerman, DDS
Will braces hurt? Yes, Orthodontic tooth movement can be temporarily annoying and uncomfortable, but there are ways to manage the discomfort. Remember that no one has ever died from braces or aligners.
Tooth pain is a fluid mediated pain, and by far the best OTC pain med for fluid mediated pain is Ibuprofen/Advil/Motrin/Nuprin. 1 Ibuprofen is 10% more effective than 2 aspirin (acetyl salicylic acid), 40% more effective than 2 Tylenol (acetaminophen).
So for tooth soreness take 1 Ibuprofen with breakfast, lunch, dinner, and before bed, always with something to eat or drink. Be proactive; don’t wait until it hurts. Take the Nsaid before you get sore. It works better than waiting to take it until after you’re sore. Also rinse with 1 teaspoon of salt in 8 ounces of warm water (swish and spit out) which will help the Ibuprofen carry away the ADP containing tissue fluid. It will also pickle your tissues, making them more resistant to stickers, the areas that stick out and annoy you.
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