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What To Do About Lip & Cheek Irritation

What To Do About Lip & Cheek Irritation

The inside of your mouth will likely become sore and irritated when you first get braces, in reaction to the new metal braces in your mouth. These ideas and products will help you cope!


Your mouth will need time to adjust to the new braces, plain and simple. After a few weeks, it will start to get a bit “tougher” and the irritation die down.

In the mean time, to help you deal with the discomfort, you can try to following:

Salt Water Rinses

Salt water rinses are a tried and true method for the short-term relief of discomfort caused by braces.

To make your saltwater rinse, stir ½ a teaspoon of salt into a cup of warm water until the salt has dissolved completely. Take a mouthful of this solution and swish 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 feel is necessary.

50% warm water and 50% hydrogen peroxide

If saltwater doesn't help, this mixture has a similar effect. Again, mix the liquids in a glass, and swish mouthfuls for about 30 seconds at a time, until the glass is empty.

Pain Relief & Barrier Products

To help reduce irritation and protect your mouth from your braces, you can try some of the following products:

Dental Wax

Dental wax is a popular and effective solution for the irritation caused by braces. It works by creating a barrier between the inside of your mouth and your braces, thus reducing friction and allowing the irritation and sores to heal.

To apply orthodontic wax:

  • Wash your hands.
  • Brush your teeth so that the area to which you apply the wax is clean.
  • Take a small piece of wax (just enough to cover the offending wire or bracket) and roll it into a little ball. This will make it more malleable and easier to apply.
  • Press the ball of wax onto the bracket or wire that is causing discomfort.
  • Massage the wax into place. It should form a small bump overtop of the bracket or wire, preventing further friction.

Lip Protectors

Lip protectors, flexible “bumpers” that cover your braces from end to end, will shield your lips and gums from your braces.

GUM® Rincinol PRN

This aloe vera-based mouth sore rinse helps promote the healing of irritation caused by braces, and provides pain relief for up to 6 hours.

GUM® Canker-X

GUM® Canker-X is an aloe vera-based gel that treats canker sores, mouth sores, as small cuts and abrasions by forming a barrier that both heals and protects.

Comfort Brace

Comfort Brace Protective Strips look a lot like teeth whitening strips, and function to shield the inside of your mouth from your braces, giving it a chance to heal.

Contact Austin Heights Orthodontics today for more information about how to deal with soreness and discomfort caused by your braces.