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Helping Your Child With Orthodontic Pain


Male and female dentist checking a mouthMany necessary orthodontic treatments – the ones that help give you a beautiful, straight, healthy smile – can come with some after-treatment pain.  Whether it’s braces, retainers, or palate expanders, it can be extremely common for your child to feel some pain or discomfort after they leave the office.  To help you child overcome the pain, here are some simple tips to try.

The first tip is to try and pre-empt the pain by taking Tylenol or Ibuprofen about an hour or so before your scheduled visit.  This will help ensure the pain medication kicks in right around the time the work is being done.  Just make sure your child does not take aspirin, as it can cause bleeding.

After the visit, the best thing to do to help your child is to keep the mouth numb.  This can be done through applying ice packs to the side of the face, drinking cold beverages, or eating cold, soft food (such as yogurt or ice cream).

If your child is feeling extreme discomfort, it’s often best to let her stay home from school for the day. Just make sure to find some distractions. Encourage her to watch a favorite TV show or film, read a book, or take a walk outside.

It’s not uncommon for sores to develop, which can add to your child’s pain levels.  Some sores are caused from the inside of the mouth or lips coming into contact with the rough or sharp edges of the orthodontic treatment.  Other sores are common canker sores, which often form in connection with braces.  Check your child’s mouth frequently and if you see any sores developing treat them with the appropriate medication.  Ask your orthodontist for wax to cover the sharp edges and prevent sores.  It’s also possible to buy lip protectors for your child to wear at night, to help prevent any unconscious rubbing of the lip against the braces while she sleeps.

In most cases, the pain will subside after a few days.  However, if the pain continues for an extended period of time, or if none of your regular treatments are helping, you can ask your orthodontist for a prescription level painkiller.  Just make sure you monitor its consumption and only use it when necessary.


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