Things To Do When Experiencing Mouth Ulcer While Wearing Braces
Orthodontic braces effectively straighten teeth over a period of time, to produce a more attractive smile. Today, new products such as Invisalign make it easier than ever to have straighter teeth and have made it possible for even more children and adults to enjoy a healthier, better smile. However, occasionally wearing these devices will produce uncomfortable mouth ulcers that make it difficult to eat and talk. If your child develops a problem with mouth ulcers, talk to your orthodontist for ideas to help relieve the discomfort.
What Causes Mouth Ulcers?
Mouth ulcers are sore areas on the mouth tissues in the mouth or on the lips, caused by rubbing against the braces that are used to straighten the teeth. The sores may appear round, red, yellow or grayish. These ulcers can develop whether you have metal brackets or another type, such as Invisalign. Generally, soreness will occur right after receiving the braces, but irritation can flare up any time you eat or drink something acidic or are experiencing stress. If left untreated, sore areas can become extremely uncomfortable and can interfere with eating, talking and even sleeping. In some cases, an infection can occur.
Symptoms of Mouth Ulcers
Individuals who have recently had straightening devices put on their teeth may notice some discomfort on areas inside the cheek or on the gums. A visual inspection may show redness of the area where tissues rub against straightening devices. Sores may seem to spread or get worse, involving larger areas of tissues. Talking, eating or drinking may increase the irritation of tissues. Discomfort may last throughout the day and may even continue during the night hours, disrupting sleep. At times, the tissues may seem to be healing, with less discomfort, but periods of worsening can occur unexpectedly.
Dealing with Sore Mouth Tissues
Individuals wearing devices to straighten teeth carefully follow instructions for keeping the devices and teeth hygienic. Over-the-counter pain relievers, such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen, can help to reduce mouth pain. A mild salt solution used as a rinse can help to clean and soothe mouth tissues. Use one teaspoon of salt to an 8-ounce glass of water, and swish for several seconds. You can also use hydrogen peroxide to disinfect mouth tissues. Hydrogen peroxide is a stronger antiseptic than salt and may cause some stinging of the tissues. Add one teaspoon to an 8-ounce glass of water and swish gently twice each day.
Adjustments Can Help
In many cases, the orthodontist can make a slight adjustment in the device to change the way it fits against mouth tissues. Even a small correction can make a big difference in the comfort of the patient. However, once an irritation has begun, you should treat the area carefully to ensure that tissues heal properly to prevent further problems. If necessary, your orthodontist can prescribe prescription medications to help.
Products Available to Relieve Mouth Ulcers
A number of products can be found in your local pharmacy that can help to relieve discomfort from mouth ulcers. Dental wax or silicone is available that can be placed on the device to create a barrier between the brackets and mouth tissues. A white tape-like product is also available that can be applied over the brackets to reduce irritation. Mouth rinses and gel compounds are also available over-the-counter that can help to soothe irritated mouth tissues. Holding a sugar-free Popsicle on affected areas can provide temporary relief of painful ulcers in the mouth.
Diet Changes That Can Help
Experts recommend staying hydrated to ensure that mouth tissues stay moist and flexible to avoid irritation. You can also avoid acidic foods, such as orange juice, lemonade or grape juice. You should also limit foods like blueberries, apples, sodas, sauerkraut, and cabbage. These foods can irritate tender mouth tissues. Pretzels, potato chips and hard crackers that break into pieces with sharp edges can make mouth ulcers worse. Salad dressings, barbecue sauces, ketchup, and other acidic condiments can cause further irritation of mouth tissues. Bland foods are the best choice if you have an outbreak of mouth sores. Also helpful if you have developed an active case of mouth ulcers, yogurt, which contains probiotic compounds, can help to soothe tissues and fight infection.
Learn More At Childers Orthodontics
At Childers Orthodontics in Illinois, our orthodontist can examine your teeth to determine if you need treatment with Damon System braces or Invisalign aligners. Children, teenagers, and adults can have an examination to learn more about straightening their teeth. We offer appointments at these locations:
• Herrin – 618-997-1800
• Harrisburg – 618-252-0770
• Benton – 618-997-1800
You can have your orthodontic devices created with robotic SureSmile equipment to have the best treatment possible for your teeth. Dr. Kyle R. Childers offers iTero archwires, AcceleDent Aura devices and Propel procedures to reduce the amount of time required for wearing orthodontic devices.
Call us to schedule your first orthodontic evaluation.
How Can Invisalign Help Straighten Teeth and Boost Self-Confidence
201 West Washington
Benton, IL 62812
Phone: (618) 438-2815