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Sore? Try a Saline Rinse

Posted in Articles, Braces Basics

Sore? Try a Saline Rinse

When you first get your braces and after adjustment appointments, the inside of your mouth may be sore and tender for a time. A saline rinse is a quick and easy way to manage your discomfort and promote healing.


Why does my mouth hurt?

Most orthodontics patients experience some degree of irritation and soreness after their braces are first placed, and also after their adjustment appointments.

This is because your teeth, gums, and the inside of your cheeks and lips all need to adjust to the new shape and position of your braces. The braces will rub against spots on the inside of your mouth, causing irritation and even sores.

What is a saline solution?

Saline solution is a mixture of salt (saline) and water that you can swish around in your mouth to sooth the irritation and discomfort you experience due to your braces.

How does saline solution help?

Saline solutions do two things; they help with pain relief, and they promote healing of sores. The idea is that saltwater works as an antiseptic to gently remove bacteria from the affected area, and reduces the alkalinity of the mouth. They also helps reduce swelling.

Keep in mind that this is a relatively mild, short-term solution to your oral discomfort; if you find it’s not doing the trick, try and anti-inflammatory pain reliver instead, such as ibuprofen.

How do I make a saline solution, and how do I use it?

It’s easy!

To make your rinse, mix one tablespoon of salt into 1 cup (250 mL) of warm water, until it is completely dissolved.

Take a mouthful of the salt water and swish it around in your mouth for about 30 seconds, then spit it out into the sink. Repeat this process until the salt water is gone. You can do this as often as you like throughout the day.


If you’d like some more pain management ideas, click here, or contact our Vancouver orthodontist’s office today!

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