How to Manage the Side Effects of Teeth Straightening

Tooth braces are an effective method of straightening the teeth and giving you a confident smile that will boost your self-esteem. However, you may find a few drawbacks to wearing them, particularly in the first week or two. Here are some of the possible side effects of teeth straightening and how to deal with them.

Sore teeth

The effect of the brace is to break down some of the old bone structure and rebuild it in the desired position. This is unlikely to happen without some discomfort. However, the good news is that the effect is gradual and the discomfort is only likely to last for a day or two as you get used to the new braces (although the effect can recur after routine tightening and adjustment of the braces). If your teeth feel sore after your brace is fitted, you can be assured that the effect is only temporary and can be relieved by over-the-counter painkillers.

Sore gums and mouth

Your mouth is simply not used to having the brace around your teeth, especially when it rubs against the soft tissues. The effect can be sores and mouth ulcers where the brace has irritated your mouth. Once again, this will be temporary and can be alleviated through painkillers; a saltwater mouthwash will also help to heal any sores. You can also buy orthodontic wax which can be applied to the part of the brace that is causing irritation, which should help prevent further sores. After a couple of weeks your mouth should be used to the feel of the brace; however, if there are any sharp wires or edges that cause sores in your mouth, let your dentist know and they will adjust it on your next visit.


This can be another temporary symptom, caused by the pressure of the brace on your teeth. Once again, you can use over-the-counter medicines until the effect has settled down.

Jaw pain

You may also feel discomfort or pain in your jaw, as it adjusts to the movement of your teeth. This is nothing to worry about and should get better as your mouth gets used to the brace.

If any of the symptoms last longer than expected, you should let your dentist know. Otherwise, if you use your brace as instructed and keep up a regular oral hygiene regime, the improvement to your smile will more than make up for any temporary discomfort.