Toothache can be horrible—especially when you have to wait for an appointment with your dentist. Sometimes, there’s nothing wrong with your teeth. Your teeth may be sensitive, or you may have just had your braces adjusted and your mouth is a little sore.
Some amount of minor jaw aching and tooth pressure goes with having orthodontic treatment. Fortunately, there are several things you can do for it. Here are five stopgap tricks for toothache, braces pain, and mouth discomfort so you can get some relief.
Take Ibuprofen and Acetaminophen
Ibuprofen, found in band names such as Motrin, does a good job of relieving pain and inflammation. If you’ve just had your braces adjusted, a little discomfort and mild pain is normal. Follow the package directions to take the right dose for your age. Acetaminophen is a pain reliever found in brand names such as Tylenol. Do not take acetaminophen if you suffer from liver damage or drink alcohol heavily. You can alternate taking ibuprofen and acetaminophen every four to six hours to get maximum pain relief.
Get Extra Sleep
Whether you’re waiting until morning to see the dentist, or you’ve just had your braces tightened, you’ll want to start your next day feeling as rested as possible. This is particularly important if you’ve been dealing with tooth pain, since you’ll feel better if you get more sleep when your body’s dealing with any type of pain. Make sure you get to sleep a little early so that you’ll have a better chance of getting enough sleep. Coping with a toothache can interrupt sleeping, but doing small things like turning off electronics an hour before bed and sipping a hot, soothing drink (non-caffeinated) can help you doze off.
If you have sensitive teeth, or if you have braces, brushing roughly can make tooth sensitivity worse. Use a toothbrush made for sensitive teeth. Talk to your dentist about what toothpaste he or she recommends for your type of tooth sensitivity. There are several brands on the market that are made for sensitive teeth. In general, toothpastes that whiten the teeth are more likely to cause sensitive teeth to act up. So can drinking extremely hot or cold drinks. Chewing ice can also be detrimental to sensitive teeth.
A Drop of Clove Oil
Clove oil is a type of essential oil that has been used for thousands of years to ease minor pain. It is made from pressed clove buds and has some therapeutic qualities. It can be used to numb tooth and gum pain for a few hours at a time. Depending on the purity of the clove oil, it may be safe to use a drop or two on your gums after it’s been diluted. If you are using clove essential oil, place a drop of the oil on a cotton ball and slide the cotton ball into the mouth against the sore area. Alternatively, you can use a clean finger to place a drop of the oil directly on the aching tooth or gums. Repeat the process every few hours as need for pain.
Coconut Oil Gargle
Swishing coconut oil in the mouth might seem strange to you, but people who practice Indian Ayurvedic medicine have been doing it for centuries. It’s become trendy lately as Hipsters have embraced this old time ritual. The practice of swishing coconut oil in the mouth (or other oils, such as sesame or sunflower oil) is called oil pulling. Try placing ½ to one teaspoon of your preferred oil in your mouth and swish it around gently for about five minutes. Spit it out when finished. Some people work up to swishing it around for 20 minutes at a time. If you like it doing it, you can use coconut oil as a supplementary mouthwash a few times a week. However, swishing coconut oil around in your mouth can’t take the place of regular brushing, flossing, or using an antibacterial mouthwash. All it can do is help your teeth and braces feel a little cleaner (kind of like using a Waterpik®), with the extra benefit of giving you sweet, tropical-smelling, coconut-infused breath.
Heat or Cold Pack
If your jaw is aching or sore due to a recent visit to your dentist, wisdom teeth removal, or a trip to the orthodontist, you can also try using hot or cold therapy. Use a microwavable heating pillow or an ice pack on sore areas. If the area feels swollen, use an ice pack to reduce swelling. If it is just generally sore, but it isn’t swollen, you can use a heated pillow.
If you have sensitive teeth that are prone to toothache, or if you’ve just had your braces adjusted, some of these stopgap remedies for tooth pain may help you.
At Dunn Orthodontics, your comfort is our top priority. Dunn Orthodontics has several locations in the Phoenix area. Please schedule an appointment by locating the most convenient office location for you and giving us a call.