Why Your Braces are Giving You Mouth Ulcers

Why Your Braces are Giving You Mouth Ulcers

We have all been there, in the quest to get that perfect smile, braces are one of the most common solutions to get straighter teeth. The orthodontic treatment works by applying continuous pressure over a period of time to slowly move teeth until they eventually adapt into their new place. And if braces aren’t uncomfortable enough, you might start to notice mouth ulcers appear inside your mouth too.

Why do braces cause mouth ulcers?

While there are many possible causes for mouth ulcers [link to Causes of Mouth Ulcers and Mouth Ulcer Treatments blog], there is a high probability that your braces may be triggering them, particularly if you are at the start of your treatment. As your mouth gets used to your new braces, your lips and cheeks are likely to rub against them, causing sores and ulcers inside of your mouth. Although over time, these will heal and the inside of your mouth will become tougher, there are some things you can do in the meantime to help alleviate the discomfort of mouth ulcers.

1. Orthodontic wax

Though this does not treat the ulcers themselves, orthodontic wax is designed to soothe and protect against the discomfort of braces, taking the pressure off your cheeks where the sores are appearing can help to prevent more from appearing. Usually supplied at most pharmacies as well as your orthodontist clinic, simply follow the instructions on the packaging and apply a small layer of wax over the bracket that is causing the discomfort and the wax will act as a protective physical barrier to help prevent the irritation.

2. Mouth ulcer treatments

To target the mouth ulcers themselves, there are a multitude of over over-the-counter treatments that you can get from your local pharmacy and often ones recommended by your orthodontist. Coming in a variety of forms such as mouthwash, gels, liquids and sprays, there are plenty of solutions to help target and treat your mouth ulcers.

3. Brushing

We all know that good oral health is essential for keeping teeth and gums healthy, but this is especially important for people with braces as the metal fixtures make it a lot harder to effectively clean your teeth. If proper care is not taken, then a build-up of bacteria can not only lead to plaque or gum disease, but it could also affect the length of your orthodontic treatment. Your orthodontist should provide you with clear instructions on how to brush your teeth with braces, along with a specialised orthodontic toothbrush to help brush underneath the wires. Twice daily cleaning of your braces is recommended, however always consult your orthodontist as specific cases may require brushing after each meal.

4. Diet

Once your braces have been fitted, your orthodontist will advise you on how best to care for your braces, and this includes maintaining a specific diet. Staying clear of fizzy drinks, hard foods and food and drinks with a high sugar content are strongly advised to keep your braces from breaking and to keep your teeth underneath as healthy as possible. Other things you may be advised to avoid are drinks like tea and coffee, as these may stain the areas of your teeth around the braces. Failing to adhere to these guidelines will not only risk damage to your braces but bacterial infections can cause mouth ulcers.

5. Poor-fitting braces

Braces can take some getting used to once they have been fitted but in some cases the wires or bands of the braces can become loose. This can lead to your braces irritating the inside of your mouth, further adding to your discomfort by causing mouth ulcers to appear. When any breakage occurs, contact your orthodontist immediately to arrange a refit or repair and use orthodontic wax as a temporary measure to hold the part in place.

Although braces can often be uncomfortable and take some getting used to, following these 5 tips will help to keep mouth ulcers at bay and let you focus on your journey to a straighter smile!

Anbesol Adult Strength Gel, for mouth ulcer pain relief. Always read the label. Not for use in infant teething.

References:

http://www.jovanortho.com/treatment/what-to-expect
https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/mouth-ulcers
https://www.dentalassociates.com/dental-topics/how-brush-teeth-braces
https://www.dentalhealth.org/mouth-ulcers

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