How to Manage Tooth Sensitivity When You Have Braces


Embarking on the journey of braces is a step towards a beautiful and aligned smile. However, this orthodontic adventure can come with some challenges, one of which is tooth sensitivity. Braces apply gentle pressure to move teeth, which can lead to temporary discomfort and sensitivity. While this sensation is normal, it’s essential to manage it with care to ensure a smooth and comfortable experience. In this special blog, we will explore the causes of tooth sensitivity during orthodontic treatment, share expert tips on managing sensitivity, and guide you through a gentle journey towards a radiant smile, even with braces.

Understanding Tooth Sensitivity with Braces

Tooth sensitivity during orthodontic treatment with braces is not uncommon. The braces apply gentle and continuous pressure to move the teeth into their desired positions. As the teeth shift, the pressure can irritate the nerves in the roots, leading to temporary sensitivity. Additionally, braces can make oral hygiene more challenging, which can further contribute to sensitivity if plaque and food debris are not adequately removed.

Causes of Tooth Sensitivity with Braces

Pressure from Braces: 

The pressure applied by braces on the teeth can lead to temporary discomfort and sensitivity.

Shifting Teeth: 

As the teeth move and shift into their new positions, the roots’ nerves may become more exposed, leading to sensitivity.

Oral Hygiene: 

Poor oral hygiene during orthodontic treatment can lead to plaque buildup around the braces and teeth, contributing to sensitivity and other dental issues.

Dietary Choices: 

Consuming acidic or sugary foods and beverages can contribute to enamel erosion and increase tooth sensitivity.

Managing Tooth Sensitivity with Braces – Dos

Practice Excellent Oral Hygiene

Maintaining excellent oral hygiene is paramount during orthodontic treatment with braces. Brush your teeth gently but thoroughly after each meal and floss daily to remove plaque and debris. Use an interdental brush or a floss threader to clean between the braces and under the wires.

Use a Soft-Bristled Toothbrush

Opt for a soft-bristled toothbrush to clean your teeth and braces gently. Hard bristles can cause gum irritation and enamel wear, exacerbating sensitivity. Brush your teeth at a 45-degree angle in small circular motions, paying attention to both the gumline and the areas around the braces.

Use Desensitizing Toothpaste

Desensitizing toothpaste containing ingredients like potassium nitrate or fluoride can help block the exposed tubules in the dentin, providing relief from sensitivity. Use a pea-sized amount of desensitizing toothpaste when brushing to target sensitive areas.

Rinse with Fluoride Mouthwash

Fluoride mouthwash can strengthen enamel and provide additional protection against sensitivity. Rinse your mouth with fluoride mouthwash after brushing to support your dental health.

Limit Acidic Foods and Beverages

Acidic foods and beverages can contribute to enamel erosion, leading to sensitivity. Limit your consumption of citrus fruits, soda, and other acidic items to protect your teeth during orthodontic treatment.

Use Orthodontic Wax

If braces or wires are causing irritation and discomfort, apply orthodontic wax to the areas causing the problem. The wax creates a smooth surface and can help reduce sensitivity caused by rubbing against braces.

Cold Compress for Jaw Discomfort

Some individuals experience jaw discomfort during the initial days of getting braces. Applying a cold compress or a cold pack to the jaw can help reduce inflammation and provide relief.

Maintain Regular Dental Checkups

Regular dental checkups are essential during orthodontic treatment. Schedule routine visits with your dentist or orthodontist to monitor your dental health, address any concerns, and receive professional advice on managing sensitivity.

Managing Tooth Sensitivity with Braces – Don’ts

Avoid Aggressive Brushing

Aggressive brushing can lead to gum irritation and enamel wear, intensifying sensitivity. Brush your teeth gently but thoroughly, using a soft-bristled toothbrush.

Don’t Skip Dental Appointments

Skipping dental appointments during orthodontic treatment is not advisable. Regular checkups are essential to ensure your braces are functioning correctly and to address any dental issues promptly.

Don’t Overuse Whitening Products

Whitening products can cause uneven coloration on the teeth when used with braces, leading to visible marks when the braces are removed. Avoid using whitening products during orthodontic treatment to maintain uniform tooth coloration.

Don’t Neglect Discomfort

If you experience severe tooth sensitivity or persistent discomfort with braces, don’t ignore it. Contact your dentist or orthodontist to determine the cause and receive appropriate treatment.


Tooth sensitivity during orthodontic treatment with braces is a common occurrence, but it can be managed with care and attention to oral hygiene. By practicing excellent oral care, using a soft-bristled toothbrush, and incorporating desensitizing toothpaste and fluoride mouthwash into your routine, you can effectively manage sensitivity while on your journey to a beautiful smile. Limiting acidic foods and using orthodontic wax when needed can also contribute to a more comfortable experience. Remember to attend regular dental checkups to monitor your dental health and ensure your braces are working as intended.While sensitivity with braces is temporary and part of the orthodontic process, any persistent discomfort should be promptly addressed by your dentist or orthodontist. Embrace the journey of braces with a gentle approach, and you’ll soon be rewarded with a radiant and confident smile, knowing you managed tooth sensitivity with grace and care. Your beautiful smile awaits!

Share it :

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Last Post
Want To become a writer?
You can send your dental blogs to us and we will publish them on Dentistring.
Overlay Image