Oy! I have suffered dearly from this.

What are the conditions that brings this on or makes it worse?

  • First getting braces. Naturally, your mouth will be uncomfortable. The gums are in pain, as is the inside of the mouth that’s dealing with the brackets and wires poking in. Ouch! But as the mouth heals, that pain should go away.
  • New brackets. In my case, on the back-most molars. I think because these are in the way back, there’s more pressure on the cheeks. This seems to be one explanation for the prolonged discomfort.
  • Wire sticking out at the back. In the Damon braces, the wire can move back and out as the teeth shift. Even a tiny wire sticking out — about 1/2 mm — can be incredibly irritating.
  • Pressure on the cheek/jaw. In my case, I wore a motorcycle helmet, which fits extremely tightly on the jaw. OUCH!

Some suggestions for addressing this discomfort:

  • To help with the sores heal, swish with warm salt water. Often. (I say this as much to myself, as to any of you readers. I haven’t been doing this enough. Keep a little container of salt by your toothbrush, and even carry one around with you for when you’re at work or eating out.)
  • Wax. Especially when you’re sleeping, give your poor inner cheeks a rest. I find it’s easier to deal with wax while I sleep, rather than during the day when I talk/eat/drink. But, if you’re doing something that puts pressure on your cheek/wire–like wearing a helmet–be generous with the wax!
  • Snip the wire. Hurry to the ortho and get that wire snipped.
  • Overall, stay healthy. I found that when I didn’t get enough sleep or was eating too many sweets, the mouth suffered.