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A breakdown on painkillers

Written by
15th October 2019

Everyone is different and we find that some of our patients are completely fine with braces. Others, however, experience discomfort in the first days of wearing braces or immediately after a new wire has been placed. To these patients we recommend taking standard painkillers such as ibuprofen or paracetamol. We’ve produced an overview of everyday painkillers to help you understand the best one for you while in braces.

Minor aches and pains

Paracetamol is recommended for most types of ache such as a headache or toothache and to treat a temperature. Paracetaomol is suitable for all ages but in small doses only in the very young. It is probably the most widely recommended painkiller.

Swelling and soreness

NSAIDs (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs), such as ibuprofen, are also often recommended as painkillers. They can be helpful for a toothache or soreness in the mouth, as well as bringing down a temperature. Due to their anti-inflammatory properties, NSAIDs will also help people who have any type of swelling. However, they should not be taken by anyone who is pregnant or with certain conditions, such as diabetes, kidney or liver disease or if you are aged over 75.

Aspirin is also an NSAID and can be taken for toothache and headache and is recommended in small doses to stop blood clots forming. If you are under 16 or have asthma you should not take aspirin.

Dental health and orthodontics

Having a healthy mouth is essential before you start in braces. Asif would expect all his patients to continue to have regular appointments with a dentist. As you will know, he places a high priority on oral hygiene!

So the chances of having toothache while in braces are low. But it can happen. If you have a different kind of pain in your mouth, not the ache you might associate with your teeth being moved, it could be a sign of a dental issue, such as:

  • Tooth decay
  • Sensitivity
  • Infection

If you have toothache for more than several days in a row or that is resistant to painkillers, you should book an appointment with your dentist as soon as possible. For more severe symptoms such as swelling around the face and neck or difficulty talking or swallowing, the NHS recommend going to A&E.

Needless to say, it is always best to consult a pharmacist or a doctor if you are in any doubt about what painkillers to take for toothache – and please always read the information supplied with the packaging carefully, as not all standard painkillers are suitable for everyone.

For more information and advice around dental health, view our recent blog articles.


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