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If your new braces are irritating your smile, not to worry, it is just temporary. Your soft oral tissue sometimes needs a week or two to adjust to this new material in your mouth.

During this adjustment period, you might experience sores in the mouth that appear shallow, white or yellow, and have a red border. This is a canker sore. While canker sores can arise anytime, they can occur as the soft oral tissues in your mouth are temporarily irritated by your new braces.

Today, Dr. Bertha Dieguez and our team in Birmingham, Alabama are happy to share some tips to relieve your symptoms.

-1 Dental wax: Your first line of defense when it comes to oral irritation is dental wax, or orthodontic wax. This wax protects the oral tissues from irritation as they heal. It is also used to prevent sores from developing if you place it on those areas where the braces are rubbing until the oral tissues have toughened up a bit. To use orthodontic wax, simply take a small piece of wax, roll it into a ball, and place it on the parts of the braces causing you discomfort.

-2 Saltwater rinse: Periodically rinsing your mouth with salt water can help heal canker sores by removing bacteria in the mouth while soothing the area.

-3 Ointment: You can find over-the-counter ointments in your local drug store to help with the pain and irritation of a canker sore or sores. Just apply a tiny bit of the numbing ointment over the area for relief.

-4 Pain relievers: If you just find your mouth too uncomfortable, you can temporarily use pain relievers, such as ibuprofen, while the area heals.

-5 Limit foods or beverages: For the first couple of weeks in braces, or whenever you have a canker sore, avoid irritating the sensitive oral tissues until they heal. This means staying away from any hot, spicy, or acidic foods and drinks for a week or two.

Dr. Bertha Dieguez and our Dieguez Smiles team are here to help you with all of your oral care needs as you align your smile. We encourage you to call 205-980-4744 to speak with a member of our staff anytime with questions, concerns, or to schedule your next visit. We are here for you!