Wednesday, June 6, 2012
How to Treat Sores Caused by Braces:
Sores caused by braces or other orthodontic appliances are common, but that does not make them less bothersome. Sores will most likely occur at the beginning of your orthodontic treatment when your braces or appliances are placed.
Before braces, your mouth is accustomed to the shape and organic substance of your teeth and tongue; when a “foreign object” is placed, such as braces, your cheeks, lips, and gums are constantly in contact with abrasive material thus irritation is inevitable. The contact or rubbing between your mouth and your appliances will most likely cause sores. Imagine sweeping the floor, raking leaves, or wearing a new pair of shoes. All of these scenarios can cause blisters to form on your hands or feet. Those blisters are similar to what happens in your mouth. The good news is: these sore will not last! Much like calluses caused by blisters on your hands from raking leaves or sweeping, your mouth forms a callous to protect itself. These calluses can take up to two months to form, so what should you do in the mean time? Suffer? Absolutely not!
There are many options out there (usually readily available at your local drug store) that will help keep you comfortable and may even speed up the healing process of present sores. The most common remedy is dental wax. Dental wax offers a barrier between the braces or appliance and the rest of your mouth. By taking a small piece, rolling it into a ball, and applying it to the area causing discomfort, you prevent the braces from adding further irritation and begin the healing process. Luckily our office is stocked full of dental wax! A common downfall of dental wax is if the area is extremely wet it will not adhere to the brackets or appliance. Aside from dental wax, there are other possible solutions to help heal mouth sores, ulcers, or canker sores.
Canker sores are the most common type of mouth ulcer and despite what most people think they are not a form of the herpes virus. It is not completely known what causes canker sores but many people have theorized they can be caused by tooth paste or mouth rinses containing sodium lauryl sulfate, hormonal changes, food allergies or intolerances, and vitamin or mineral deficiencies. No matter the cause, canker sores are bothersome and painful, especially if they occur inside your lip near a bracket. Some products that can help heal and alleviate discomfort caused by canker sores are peroxyl or oral cream.
Sometimes it can take two months to get used to your braces or orthodontic appliances. These little tips can make the adjustment process much easier. Just remember, our office is just a phone call away or you can visit our website for other helpful hints.
-Chalice Fraser, R.D.A.