One of the downsides of braces is that you can develop ulcers in your mouth that you must treat. The good news is that treating ulcers from braces is possible and there are a variety of ways to do so. The even better news is that you can prevent ulcers from forming in the first place.
Understanding ulcers and learning how to prevent and/or treat them will result in less discomfort throughout your braces treatment.
What are mouth ulcers?
Mouth ulcers, also known as mouth sores, are round swollen whitish spots on the tissues of your mouth. These sores can also be yellow, red, or gray in color. Mouth sores cause pain and discomfort that can make your oral healthcare routine and eating food a miserable experience. They can also be a sign of infection requiring you to seek professional treatment as soon as possible.
Can braces cause ulcers?
Braces cause ulcers by repeatedly rubbing on the mouth tissues for a period of time. As the braces rub the mouth tissues, the spot becomes raw and irritated. If left untreated, the sore will only get worse and an infection could develop.
How do you prevent ulcers from braces?
Again, while your braces treatment can have the unwanted effect of causing mouth ulcers, the good news is that these sores are successfully preventable at home in a number of different ways.
Orthodontic wax is a special substance similar to beeswax that you apply to the brackets of your braces. Covering the brackets with this wax prevents them from rubbing and irritating your tissues. Simply warm up the wax in your hands prior to applying it, and use it as you need it. If you don’t have any, ask your orthodontist for some. You can also purchase it online and in stores.
You can also apply silicone covers to your brackets. Silicon covers work similarly to orthodontic wax by preventing mouth tissues from contacting your hardware. Be sure that your brackets are dry before applying the silicone covers in order to have the best results. Just like orthodontic wax, you can purchase silicone covers online and in stores.
Brush and Floss
One of the best ways to prevent mouth ulcers is to stick to a daily thorough oral healthcare routine to keep your mouth and braces clean. Poor oral hygiene paves the way for ulcers to develop because your mouth tissues will be more susceptible to developing sores. Braces can also loosen or break if you are not taking care of them.
Gently brush every nook and cranny you can reach with your toothbrush. Use an interdental toothbrush for difficult spots. Floss between every tooth with assistance from a floss threader or even an oral irrigator such as WaterPik. An oral irrigator can also clean your gums. The cleaner your mouth is, the more you can prevent mouth sores.
Rinsing daily with special products such as mouthwash or Rincinol PRN cleans your mouth tissues and keeps them healthy. Even rinsing with a natural remedy such as sage mixed with warm water is an effective method of keeping your mouth clean.
A dry mouth makes your tissues more at risk of developing sores. Preventing this is simple by drinking more water to keep your mouth moist. Drinking water also promotes the production of saliva, which contains natural anti-bacterial components.
See Your Orthodontist Regularly
Keep up with regular follow-up appointments to your dentist and orthodontist so they can check your progress and provide you with regular cleanings that will keep your teeth, gums, and braces clean. Your dental health professional will also be able to examine any mouth sores you may have and will help you treat and prevent them.
Any tips for treating ulcers from braces?
If you do end up developing mouth sores because of your braces, you can treat the problem at home using a variety of options.
There are several over-the-counter and topical pain relievers on the market that you can use to treat pain and discomfort and reduce swelling from mouth sores.
Some of the most common over-the-counter pain medications patients use includes acetaminophen, aspirin, and ibuprofen that you take every few hours as instructed. Topical pain relievers are applied to the sore itself throughout the day as needed and include Orabase and Anbesol.
Both kinds of pain relievers can be found in stores where medications are sold.
If you don’t want to take pain medication, or you want to give your treatment an extra boost, mix a half teaspoon of salt with a cup of warm water. Swish the solution in your mouth for at least 30 seconds and rinse. Saltwater can reduce pain and swelling. It also cleans your mouth and kills bacteria that could lead to infection.
Anti-septic rinses such as mouthwash that contains hydrogen peroxide can keep mouth ulcers from braces clean and kill bacteria. Keeping mouth sores clean is the best way to promote healing and prevent infection.
Another natural way to treat mouth sores is by placing a warm and wet tea bag on it. Tea has anti-inflammatory and anti-septic ingredients that can reduce pain and swelling.
As much as you may not want to, following strict dietary restrictions can help prevent and treat ulcers from braces. You already have dietary restrictions you must follow to prevent damage to your hardware and teeth for the duration of your treatment. If more dietary changes mean less or no mouth sores, you should consider it.
Avoiding foods and drinks such as tomatoes, soda, coffee, and other consumables that are high in acids can prevent mouth sores or will allow them to heal more properly. Try temporarily eating a blander diet featuring foods such as yogurt that naturally fight bacteria.
Mouth sores are also a good excuse to eat ice cream since cold reduces swelling and pain. Warm soup also helps. Just make sure it’s not hot because it could irritate the mouth sores or make them worse.
Stress won’t help prevent or treat your mouth sores, so it’s important to find ways to reduce it. Some of the best ways to reduce stress include exercise, yoga, meditation, or engaging in an activity you find relaxing or calming. Reducing stress will facilitate quicker healing and a stronger body so you can prevent future mouth ulcers from braces.
Contact Webb & Goldsmith Orthodontics About Mouth Ulcers From Braces
Webb & Goldsmith Orthodontics not only specializes in giving patients treatment with braces, but we are also here to assist you in preventing and treating mouth sores that may result during treatment. We proudly serve the Charlotte community and surrounding areas in North Carolina. We also offer Invisalign® treatments and are a Diamond level provider. To make an appointment, call our office at 704-364-7343 or visit our website today!
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