“Will it hurt to get braces?” Most of us remember getting started and “bracing” for the expected discomfort. We’re instructed to eat soft foods, take pain medications (NSAIDs like ibuprofen, etc.) and take good care of the braces. A week later (if we’re adolescents) we are back to normal.
The ibuprofen we recommend @ OSL is biochemically designed to “wash-out” the pain chemicals around your teeth, thus relieving the inflammation…
…What if you want to avoid the side-effects of, or cannot take ibuprofen? What else besides drugs would be effective at relieving discomfort? Is it evidenced-based?
A recent randomized clinical trial was done to investigate the efficacy of ibuprofen, chewing gum (sugar-free), and viscoelastic wafers during the first week after initial arch wire placement. The 50 participants were asked to fill in surveys and were divided into 5 groups; All were female, ages 13-18 years, and had full braces placed.
Group #1 Placebo – asked to take Vitamin B6 immediately after wires were placed, and at 8 hour intervals for a week if discomfort persisted*
Group #2 Ibuprofen – asked to take Ibuprofen, per schedule above*
*NOTE – Group #1 and #2 did not know what drug they were taking.
Group #3 Chewing gum – asked to chew sugar-free gum per schedule above
Group #4 Soft viscoelastic wafer – asked to chew on wafer for 5 minutes per schedule above
Group #5 Hard viscoelastic wafer – asked to chew on wafer for 5 minutes per schedule above
1. For all groups the intensity of the pain increased from 2 hours after wire placement to 24 hours, then decreased.
2. Bite wafer chewing was more effective than ibuprofen, and more effective than the placebo for reducing discomfort.
3. Chewing gum was also more effective than a placebo for reducing discomfort.
Contact us at OSL if you want more information. Check with me next month for more “Evidence-Based” orthodontic info. Thanks!
Farzanegan, F., Zebarjad S.M. Pain reduction after initial archwire placement in orthodontic patients:A randomized clinical trial. AJODO 2012;141. 169-173