Link Between Orthodontic Treatment and Canker Sores
Canker sores are always painful and irritating, but they can be even worse during orthodontic treatment. Braces can cause canker sores to take longer to heal and to feel even more painful than usual. Here at Great Outdoors Pediatric Dentistry, we want to help our patients and their parents learn more about canker sores during orthodontic treatment and how they can be avoided.
What Are Canker Sores?
Canker sores are small open sores that develop inside the mouth, mostly on the roof of the mouth, the insides of the cheeks, and the tongue. Canker sores are common, especially for those who have:
- A family history of canker sores
- Higher-than-usual stress levels
- A compromised immune system
- Experienced trauma to the mouth
- Have a habit of biting or chewing lips or the inside of cheeks
- Changes in hormones, such as puberty or pregnancy
- Certain vitamin deficiencies (folic acid, B-12, zinc, or iron)
If canker sores happen to develop near a bracket or a wire on the braces, they can be more irritating and painful than usual. While most canker sores will go away on their own between 7-10 days, orthodontic treatment can sometimes cause them to last longer or develop more frequently.
Alleviating Canker Sores During Orthodontic Treatment
Below are a few ways to alleviate the pain and symptoms associated with a canker sore during orthodontic treatment. We suggest the use of:
- Canker sore gels or treatments that form protective layers over the canker sore. This will speed up the healing process.
- Mouthwash or any other product used to kill bacteria in the mouth. Avoid using anything containing alcohol, as this can further sting and irritate the canker sore.
- Temporary numbing products such as Orajel, that will allow the sufferer to eat meals without experiencing pain.
- Dental wax to cover any brackets or wires that may be causing a canker sore to get bigger or take longer to heal.