(818) 980-5300 5445 Laurel Canyon Blvd.
Valley Village, CA   91607

Relieving Common Discomforts Caused by Wearing Braces

If you or your child has recently had braces applied, you might be discovering that braces can have some uncomfortable side effects, such as sores or ulcers on the lips and tongue, pain in the teeth, jaw or neck, headaches and more.

If you’re dealing with discomfort following the application or adjustment of your braces, maybe some of these tips will help you.

The brackets of your braces can be rough, especially at first, before your mouth has adjusted. These rough edges can affect your cheeks, lips and tongue, leaving painful sores or ulcers. Some bands can have extra prongs for rubber bands or orthodontic attachments. Fortunately, specialized wax for braces is available through your orthodontist or in some drug stores. Take a small ball of wax, about the size of a large pea, and apply it to a dry bracket. The wax will stick and provide a smooth barrier between the soft tissues of your mouth and the rough bracket.

Sometimes patients experience pain in the jaw that can spread to the neck. This tension can be caused by being in the dental chair with an open mouth for extended periods of time. Stretching gently after application or adjustment can relieve this muscle tension.

Pain in the teeth is extremely common in braces patients. As the teeth move, they can be sore, especially in the first three days following application or adjustment. You can help relieve this pain utilizing ibuprofen or other over-the-counter analgesics with anti-inflammatory properties. Headaches and muscle pains can also be addressed with ibuprofen.

If you are experiencing discomfort following braces application or adjustment, talk to your orthodontist. Learn about these and all the other ways that are recommended to address your comfort issues.

Orthodontist in Sherman Oaks CA

Is Your Child Too Young for Braces?

If visits from the tooth fairy are coming to an end and your child’s permanent teeth are filling in, it is probably time to start considering a trip to the orthodontist. When a child’s permanent teeth begin erupting, a qualified orthodontist will be able to assess and detect possible problems with emerging teeth and jaw development and begin the process of planning treatment to correct these issues.

The American Dental Association and the American Association of Orthodontists suggest children visit an orthodontist for evaluation by the age of seven, which is roughly the age most kids see the eruption of permanent teeth. Because an orthodontist is specially trained to align and straighten teeth, early detection of issues allows them to develop the best possible treatment plan.

Early assessment does not mean your child will begin the process of orthodontia immediately. However, this screening will allow your orthodontist to consider the best future treatment for bite problems, overcrowded or misaligned teeth. Some of these problems can be corrected at an early age through other dental treatment, resulting in shorter and less complicated orthodontic treatments.

In the past, correcting these types of issues with braces has been a single-phase process beginning after all primary teeth have fallen out and been replaced by permanent teeth. However, advances in orthodontic treatments have introduced a two-phase plan that can begin far earlier. Utilizing a dental appliance at a younger age followed by traditional braces can allow for a shorter treatment plan than the single-phase treatment.

To determine what type of treatment would be most beneficial to your child, consult with a qualified orthodontist as soon as you see permanent teeth make an appearance. This evaluation could mean the difference in shortening your child’s time in braces by months or even years and result in a lifetime of beautiful smiles.

Orthodontist in Sherman Oaks CA for braces

Advice From Your Orthodontist on Keeping Track of Your Retainer

Once you’ve completed your treatment with braces, your orthodontist will fit you for a retainer. A retainer is designed to prevent your teeth from shifting back into their former spaces, and promotes them to stay even and aligned. For the first year or so, you will have to wear your retainer most of the day, and later, you’ll only sleep in it. One thing’s for certain, you won’t want to lose it.

Because you will take out your retainer from time to time, the possibility exists that you’ll misplace it.

Here is some important advice from your orthodontist about protecting your retainer:

  • Never, ever wrap up your retainer in a paper towel or a napkin. This makes it look like a piece of trash that needs to be thrown away. Even if you put it safely into your lunchbox in the napkin, it’s too easy to grab it up and throw it away later without thinking.
  • When your retainer isn’t in your mouth, it should be in its case. Choosing a brightly colored case means that it will be unlikely to be overlooked. A bright red or neon green case might seem garish and conspicuous, but that same case isn’t going to be forgotten when you get up from the table, and if it happens to make it to the trashcan, you’re going to find it a lot faster if it’s bright and easy-to-see.
  • Wear your retainer as recommended by your orthodontist. If you are wearing it in your mouth, you know exactly where it is. It will never be lost or damaged if you have it on.
  • Once you’re able to wear your retainer only at night, leave it in its case in one single place each day. This spot could be your purse, your backpack, your sink, your nightstand or your locker. Developing a habit regarding your retainer can be essential in keeping track of it.

Following these important tips from your orthodontist can help you keep track of your retainer.

Sherman Oaks Orthodontist

Mehdi Fotovat, D.D.S.


5445 Laurel Canyon Blvd.

Valley Village, CA 91607

(818) 980-5300

Our practice is conveniently located on Laurel Canyon Blvd. between Burbank Blvd. and Chandler Blvd. in Valley Village. Free parking is available behind the building.

Our Hours

Tuesday: 8:00 am – 5:00 pm (closed for lunch 12-1:20)

Wednesday: 7:30 am – 5:30 pm (closed for lunch 12-1:30)

Thursday: 1:00 pm – 6:00 pm

Friday: 7:30 am – 3:30 pm (closed for lunch 12-12:30)