How to stop your braces from cutting your mouth?

How to Stop Your Braces from Cutting Your Mouth?

Braces can be a great solution to straighten your teeth, but they can also cause some discomfort. One of the most common issues that people experience with braces is cuts in their mouth. These cuts can be caused by the metal brackets or wires rubbing against the inside of your mouth, leading to pain and irritation. Fortunately, there are several ways to prevent or reduce these cuts, and in this article, we will discuss some of the most effective ones.

Why Do Braces Cut Your Mouth?

The brackets and wires of braces are made of metal and are often sharp. When they rub against the soft tissues of your mouth, such as your cheeks, lips, or tongue, they can cause cuts or sores. This can be especially problematic during the first few weeks after getting your braces since your mouth needs time to adjust to the new appliance. Moreover, certain types of braces, such as traditional metal braces or lingual braces, may be more likely to cause cuts than others.

1. Use Orthodontic Wax

Orthodontic wax is a soft, pliable material that can be applied to the brackets and wires of your braces. It creates a smooth surface that can help reduce the friction and irritation caused by the metal parts of your appliance. To use orthodontic wax, clean the affected area with water, dry it off with a tissue or cotton swab, and then apply a small amount of wax to the bracket or wire that is causing the problem. Mold the wax around the bracket or wire with your fingers until it covers the sharp edges. You can reapply wax as needed throughout the day or until the irritation subsides.

2. Rinse with Salt Water

Salt water can help soothe and disinfect cuts in your mouth. To make a saltwater solution, mix a teaspoon of salt with a cup of warm water until the salt dissolves. Then, swish the solution in your mouth for about 30 seconds before spitting it out. You can repeat this several times a day, especially after meals or before bedtime. Salt water can also help with other symptoms of braces, such as gum soreness or bad breath.

3. Apply a Lip Balm or Lip Protector

A lip balm or lip protector can create a barrier between your braces and the sensitive skin of your lips. Look for a product that is made with natural or hypoallergenic ingredients and does not contain fragrances or dyes that can further irritate your skin. Apply it to your lips as often as needed, especially before eating or drinking. Some lip balms also contain ingredients that can help with healing, such as aloe vera or vitamin E.

4. Adjust Your Diet

Certain foods can increase the chances of getting cuts in your mouth while wearing braces. These include hard, crunchy, or sticky foods, such as popcorn, nuts, chips, or gum. Try to avoid these foods or cut them into smaller pieces before eating them. Instead, focus on softer and easier-to-chew foods, such as soups, smoothies, yogurt, or steamed vegetables. This can not only prevent cuts but also make it easier to maintain good oral hygiene while wearing braces.

5. Schedule an Appointment with Your Orthodontist

If you are experiencing persistent cuts, sores, or pain in your mouth despite trying the above methods, you may need to consult your orthodontist. They can examine your braces and adjust them if necessary to make them more comfortable for you. For instance, they can apply more wax, replace a broken bracket or wire, or prescribe a medicated mouthwash or gel to help with healing. They can also give you more personalized tips on how to prevent cuts based on your specific situation.

Conclusion

Cuts in your mouth are a common but avoidable problem when wearing braces. By using orthodontic wax, rinsing with salt water, applying a lip balm, adjusting your diet, and consulting your orthodontist if needed, you can minimize the discomfort and enjoy the benefits of a straighter smile. Remember to practice good oral hygiene, including brushing and flossing regularly, to keep your teeth and braces clean and healthy.

FAQs

  • What is orthodontic wax, and where can I get it?

    Orthodontic wax is a soft, malleable material that can be used to cover the brackets or wires of your braces to reduce friction and irritation in your mouth. You can get it from your orthodontist or dental supply store.

  • How often should I apply orthodontic wax?

    You can reapply orthodontic wax as often as needed, depending on how quickly it wears off or how much discomfort you experience. Typically, you may need to apply it several times a day or until the cuts or sores in your mouth heal.

  • Can I eat and drink with orthodontic wax on my braces?

    Yes, you can eat and drink with orthodontic wax on your brackets and wires. However, you may need to remove and replace the wax if it gets dislodged or contaminated with food particles.

  • How long does it take for cuts in your mouth to heal?

    The healing time for cuts in your mouth caused by braces depends on the severity and location of the injury, as well as your overall oral health. Typically, mild cuts can heal within a few days or a week, while more severe cuts may take longer, up to two weeks or more.

  • Can braces cause permanent damage to your mouth?

    Although braces are generally safe and effective, they may cause some temporary discomfort or side effects, such as cuts, sores, or gum inflammation. However, if not addressed promptly, these issues can lead to more serious complications, such as infections, scar tissue, or permanent damage to your oral tissues. That is why it is important to follow your orthodontist’s instructions and notify them of any concerns or issues you experience.

References

American Association of Orthodontists. (n.d.). Braces and Retainers. Retrieved from https://www.aaoinfo.org/

Kids Health. (2019, December). Braces. Retrieved from https://kidshealth.org/

National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research. (n.d.). Braces (Orthodontia). Retrieved from https://www.nidcr.nih.gov/