How to Prevent Canker Sores from Braces

3 Top Tips for a Painless Orthodontic Experience

girl with toothache wondering how to prevent canker sores from braces

Braces are leagues ahead of where they used to be. Today’s orthodontic treatments are all lower profile, more comfortable, and faster than braces from ten years ago. But that doesn’t mean they’re perfect – sometimes we still have to deal with sore gums and cheeks. This month, we’re going to talk about dealing with one of the most common side effects of treatment – how to prevent canker sores from braces!

At Pachter Orthodontics, we often hear about canker sores from those using Invisalign and patients with braces. But every patient deserves to discover their new smile without worrying about canker sores, which is why we’ve put together a few easy tricks for dealing with this pesky problem (and preventing it from happening in the first place).

Let’s take a look!

What are Canker Sores?

Almost everyone has experienced a canker sore before. These small ulcers are common, popping up on the inside of your mouth (usually inside the lips or cheeks). They look like round sores that are grey, white, or red.

Canker sores aren’t usually a serious medical problem, but they are annoying and can take a while to heal – leaving you to deal with days of minor pain when you eat or drink. However, if you are sick or have an auto-immune problem like diabetes, canker sores can lead to infections and health issues!

However, we have good news for you. Once you understand what causes canker sores, it’s easy to avoid them!

smiling girl with braces

What’s Bothering Your Mouth?

Canker sores are caused when the soft tissues inside your mouth get irritated. A number of triggers can bother your cheeks or lips: biting your cheek, eating acidic or spicy foods, and tiny cuts or lesions.

Unfortunately, a very common cause of mouth ulcers is transforming your smile. When you first start your orthodontic journey (or when your braces are adjusted), the new metal and wires can irritate your mouth while you adjust to this big change.

Luckily, there are several ways that you can avoid canker sores while you’re getting accustomed to your new braces!

Preventing Sores While Correcting Your Smile

At Pachter, we’re all about having a great time during your smile transformation. You deserve to have the smiliest smile on the block, even while you’re getting used to your braces! But canker sores really bring down the party. The secret to stopping sores lies in knowing the triggers and taking good care of your mouth.

  1. Avoid Spicy & Acidic Foods – If you’re a big fan of spicy food or sour candies, you might have to take a break from your favorite snacks. These kinds of foods can irritate your mouth’s soft tissues or existing cuts, encouraging mouth ulcers.
  2. Use Orthodontic Wax – We’ve talked before about orthodontic wax and dental wax for Invisalign and braces. Orthodontic wax is a waterproof, soft cover for wires and brackets, preventing them from rubbing against your cheeks, lips, or gums and creating canker sores.
  3. Rinse with Salt Water – Warm salt water is the go-to remedy for healing canker sores and soothing mouth ulcers. When you rinse your mouth with salt water, it can also act as a disinfectant, helping small lesions heal before they become canker sores. Rinse two to three times per day if you feel like you’re getting a sore!

Putting Positivity in Your Smile

Canker sores are a pain when you get them, but hopefully these three tips will help you keep them at bay during your smile transformation!

Are you ready to discover a brand-new you through the power of a positive smile? At Pachter Orthodontics, we specialize in changing lives while correcting smiles. If it’s time to start your orthodontic journey, then it’s time to schedule your assessment at our Paramus, NJ or Middletown, NY office. Call us today to get started with your local smile experts!