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Getting orthodontic treatment is a big commitment and a big investment. And the payoff can be lifelong – being able to enjoy showing off a healthy, straight, white smile you love.
But in the interim, while you have braces on your teeth, you may experience the occasional discomfort such as a mouth ulcer. Ouch! Are mouth ulcers dangerous? Are there any ways to avoid mouth ulcer pain? Is there a home remedy for mouth ulcer irritation?
Let’s find out now!
- 1 Are Mouth Ulcers Dangerous?
- 1.1 Ways to Avoid Mouth Ulcer Pain
- 1.2 What is CANKER SORES? Causes, Signs and Symptoms, Diagnosis and Treatment.
- 1.3 Is There a Home Remedy for Mouth Ulcer Irritation?
- 1.4 Orthodontic wax
- 1.5 Saltwater gargle
- 1.6 Hydrogen peroxide gargle
- 1.7 Ice cubes
- 1.8 Numbing gel
- 1.9 Used teabag
- 1.10 Analgesics
- 1.11 Are You Seeking Expert, Compassionate Orthodontic Care?
Are Mouth Ulcers Dangerous?
Mouth ulcers are uncomfortable and the moment they appear you will want them to disappear.
However, the good news is that mouth ulcers typically are not dangerous. Everyone gets a mouth ulcer now and again, whether from eating too much citrus, from accidentally biting down on your cheek or lip or even from stress.
When you are wearing braces, mouth ulcers are sometimes caused by the hardware making contact with the soft, sensitive tissues of your inner cheeks and inside lips.
This is quite normal and can take some getting used to. Luckily, there are plenty of things you can do to alleviate any temporary discomfort while the mouth ulcer heals.
Ways to Avoid Mouth Ulcer Pain
The hands-down best way to avoid mouth ulcer pain is to practice great daily oral hygiene.
Caring for braces can take a bit longer than you are used to – more brushing, more flossing, even the use of special flossing aids to get trapped food out of the little nooks and crannies of your braces and gargling with sanitizing mouthwash.
But taking the extra time to do this can pay off. The most important reason to take excellent care of your teeth and gums while wearing braces is that this destroys mouth bacteria that might otherwise breed infection. Yuck!
Those mouth bacteria can creep into your mouth ulcer and infect it and that is when the real trouble can start.
Another great way to avoid mouth ulcer pain is to cut down on the amount of acidic or citrus foods you eat. Common acidic foods include orange juice, lemons, and tomato products. These foods can make mouth ulcer discomfort worse and cause the ulcer to take longer to heal.
If you can, try to avoid hot/spicy foods and hot-temperature foods as well. Both can cause ulcers and make the pain worse.
Is There a Home Remedy for Mouth Ulcer Irritation?
Mouth ulcers are quite common even among people who aren’t wearing braces. Thankfully, this means there are lots of home remedies you can use to ease any discomfort, pain or irritation you may feel.
Orthodontic wax is a time-honored remedy for mouth ulcers. The use of orthodontic wax can both prevent mouth ulcers from forming and also help ease discomfort.
You can just place the orthodontic wax right over any area on your braces that are abrading your mouth tissues to keep a mouth ulcer from forming.
Salt is a natural antiseptic agent and is an aid to help wounds heal faster. When combined with warmed water, it is also very soothing.
Take six ounces of warmed water and add a teaspoon of plain table salt. Stir and then gargle with it, one mouthful at a time, until it is all gone. Do this two or three times per day to reduce pain and speed healing.
Try to refrain from drinking or eating anything for at least five minutes afterward to let the salt work its magic.
Hydrogen peroxide gargle
Hydrogen peroxide is an alternative to salt – some people prefer one or the other. You don’t have to do both although it won’t hurt. Like salt, hydrogen peroxide is a natural antiseptic and healing agent.
Combine one-half cup peroxide with one-half cup water. Gargle this one mouthful at a time until it is all gone. Do this two or three times per day to speed healing.
Try not to drink or eat anything for at least five minutes after you gargle to let the hydrogen peroxide do its best work.
While we never advise chewing ice while you have braces (or even while you don’t have braces), holding a small ice cube in your mouth over the area of the mouth sore can temporarily numb it and provide relief from pain.
Of course, it isn’t always possible to stop what you are doing to go gargle some saltwater or suck on a small ice cube.
Times like these are what numbing gel was made for. Numbing gel is readily available over the counter or from your orthodontist and can be applied directly to the area of the mouth ulcer to numb the pain.
If you like tea or if someone in your family enjoys tea, you can re-use the teabag as a soothing salve for your mouth ulcer. Any kind of tea will do. Earl Grey, lavender, eucalyptus, peppermint, and chamomile all have healing antiseptic and anti-inflammatory properties that your mouth will appreciate.
After you are done brewing your tea, retain the teabag and simply press it directly over the mouth ulcer inside your mouth for a few minutes.
Everyone has different natural pain tolerance. Some people feel pain more than others. If your mouth ulcer is getting painful, it is fine to take some over-the-counter pain relievers for temporary relief.
Always ask your doctor about the best pain reliever to take for your specific situation.
Are You Seeking Expert, Compassionate Orthodontic Care?
Our cutting-edge, compassionate, and customer-first approach to orthodontic treatment means we treat all generations here in our friendly local practice.
Remember, it is now recommended that children receive their first orthodontic screening on or before age seven. Make your appointment today and be on your way to a better oral health for the whole family.
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13046 Falcon Drive
Baxter, MN 56425
Things To Do When Experiencing Mouth Ulcer While Wearing Braces
Dr. Michael McDermott earned his Bachelor of Arts Degree in both Chemistry and Biology from St. Olaf College in Northfield, MN. He followed his undergraduate degrees with a doctorate in dental surgery at the University of Minnesota, where he graduated with highest distinction.
Dr. Mike then furthered his dental education by earning a masters and certificate in Orthodontics at the University of St. Louis in Missouri.