Good Night's Sleep

Brace Yourself For A Good Night’s Sleep: Coping Strategies When Braces Cause Discomfort

Your teeth and gums will probably be sore for a week or so after getting braces. This is caused by the pressure of wires and rubber bands against the teeth to slowly straighten them. Taking over-the-counter pain relievers like acetaminophen (Tylenol) can help manage this discomfort. You should also stick to soft, no-chew foods for a while and use orthodontic wax to protect the areas of sensitivity.

Over-The-Counter Pain Medication

Taking over-the-counter pain medication like acetaminophen or ibuprofen can help reduce the pain and inflammation caused by braces. Rinsing the mouth with a solution of warm water mixed with salt can also alleviate the soreness. It is recommended to repeat this several times throughout the day. Using orthodontic wax to cover any areas where the wires or brackets are irritating the gums can also make this painful situation less stressful.

The pain and discomfort that comes with having My braces hurt so bad I can’t sleep should subside within a week. During this time, it is important to stick to soft foods that require minimal chewing, such as soups, mashed potatoes, and yogurt. A good oral hygiene routine is also crucial to minimizing irritation. For example, brushing the teeth gently but thoroughly before going to bed helps relieve the pressure that can cause sensitivity.

Over-The-Counter Oral Anesthetic

Pain caused by the wires, elastics, and brackets that make up your braces setup is a natural part of the treatment process. The pressure and rubbing from these pieces can lead to swollen gums, sores, and small cuts inside the mouth that create pain. The good news is that over-the-counter pain medications like acetaminophen (Tylenol) and NSAIDs like ibuprofen can significantly reduce any discomfort. Another option for reducing pain in your mouth is to apply an over-the-counter oral anesthetic such as Orajel or Anbesol directly to the sensitive teeth and gums with a cotton swab. These products contain benzocaine, which numbs the area to provide relief.

Other simple strategies for reducing pain while wearing braces include drinking cold water or eating cold foods and treats like popsicles or ice cream. This will reduce inflammation and numb the pain in your gums while providing much needed nourishment. In addition, a self-performed gum massage can help relieve pain in your mouth by stimulating blood flow to the area.

Soft Foods Before Bedtime

In addition to over-the-counter pain relievers, consuming soft foods like mashed potatoes and soup can greatly reduce the strain on your teeth during times of increased sensitivity. You should also avoid eating any food that requires a lot of chewing, as this can increase the pressure on your teeth and cause additional discomfort.

Sticking to these guidelines will also help you sleep better. You should also try to avoid foods that trigger acid reflux, as this can disturb your sleep by causing heartburn. Additionally, you should refrain from biting into hard or sticky foods, such as corn on the cob or apples, as this can loosen and break your braces. Another option for achieving a restful night of sleep is applying a small amount of orthodontic wax to the sharp edges of any wires or brackets that may be rubbing against your cheek or lips. This will create a protective barrier to prevent any further irritation and allow you to sleep soundly.

Oral Hygiene

The health of your mouth isn’t just about flashing a pearly white smile or having fresh breath. The state of your oral hygiene also reflects the health of other parts of your body and is linked to heart disease, stroke, diabetes, and more. Proper oral hygiene includes brushing and flossing on a regular basis, along with scheduling dental visits for professional cleanings. It is also important to use a toothpaste that contains the ADA Seal of Acceptance, as this signifies that it has been tested by scientists in fields like microbiology, toxicology, and pharmacology for safety and efficacy.

If your braces are irritating your cheeks or rubbing against the inside of your lips, you can provide some immediate relief by applying orthodontic wax. A small amount of this non-toxic substance can create a soft barrier that reduces friction and helps to soothe your inner lip or cheek. You can also rinse your mouth with warm salt water, a solution that will also help to reduce inflammation and soothe irritated gums.


It is normal for pain to occur during the first week of wearing braces. During this time, the wires and brackets apply pressure to the teeth to help them shift and align. Over-the-counter pain relievers like acetaminophen (Tylenol) and NSAIDs can help manage discomfort. Gurgling a warm salt water rinse multiple times daily can also reduce irritation.

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