Comfort Instruction


Man sitting at a park bench massaging his cheek to alleviate pain from his recent orthodontic treatment.

Our team at Harner Orthodontics is proud to provide expert orthodontic treatment to the Huntington Beach community and works hard to ensure that your experience at our practice is as comfortable as possible. That being said, we do realize that you may experience slight achiness or soreness when you receive new orthodontic appliances or after an adjustment to your traditional braces or Invisalign clear aligners. Luckily, there are a number of easy things you can do to ensure you stay as comfortable as possible!

Preventative Care For Before Your Orthodontic Treatment

Before going to visit Dr. Andrew Harner for your next orthodontic session, be sure to review the following suggestions. We invite you to take these tips into consideration if you'd like to experience less pain during your scheduled appointment as well as the days following your appointment.

Take Pain Relieving Medication

Although this may seem like an obvious idea, please hear us out. One of the most popular pain reliving medications is acetaminophen; it is most commonly recognized by the brand-name Tylenol. It isn't necessary to purchase the brand-name medication—if you see acetaminophen listed as a main ingredient in the after-market brand, this works just fine too! This analgesic is used to target various forms of pain such as muscle aches and toothaches, symptoms of which you'll feel in response to the adjustments to your orthodontic appliances. Depending on your age, we recommend reading the back of the pain killer's container to be certain how much you should ingest as well as how long it takes to start feeling the effects. This way, you can follow the instructions before your appointment so that the medications kicks in at the right moment.

Take Anti-inflammatory Medication

Inflammation symptoms are medically recognized as pain, heat, redness, and swelling. Sound familiar? This might be because you have felt one or all of these symptoms during your orthodontic session. To appease or prevent these symptoms, we suggest purchasing over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medication such as aspirin, naproxen, and ibuprofen; these are most commonly recognized by the brand-names Aspirin, Aleve, and Advil respectively. Again, it isn't necessary to purchase the brand-name medication—after-market brand-names use the same ingredients and will produce the same effects. You should read the back of the anti-inflammatory of your choice's container to find out how much you should take and how much time it takes to come into effect. Follow the indicated instructions before your appointment.

Healing Care For After Your Orthodontic Treatment

After you've left your orthodontist's Huntington Beach office, it's completely normal to feel aching pain and discomfort for the next couple of days. To help ease these symptoms, we've created some suggestions for at-home remedies that are safe and easy to utilize during the days that follow your orthodontic appointment.

Oral Sedatives & Analgesics

Your orthodontist will have oral sedatives or analgesics on hand at their Huntington Beach office and will likely use them during your orthodontic session. Fortunately, these sedatives and analgesics are also available to patients directly. No need to visit your orthodontist to receive the benefits from these oral creams that contain anti-pain medication as these are also available over-the-counter! Disclaimer: the topical creams available over-the-counter won't be the same industrial-grade as the ones Dr. Harner has in the office, but they'll get the job done at home when you need additional pain relief.

Drink Ice-cold Water

The effects of ice-cold water cannot be understated! Because of the cool temperature of ice-cold water, the inflammation in your mouth will be reduced and your pain will be eased from the momentary numbing effect. You can preemptively store some cold water in your refrigerator at home and take sips and hold the cool water in your mouth after you've completed your orthodontic adjustment. To maximize the relief from your oral pain, don't use straws to sip on your water—this will be counterproductive since you want the water to fill up your mouth to reach the areas where you're feeling discomfort.

Warm Saltwater Or Solution Rinse

This may seem like an uncomfortable suggestion, but did you know that salt can have healing properties? Salt has been proven to increase the pH balance of your mouth; this hinders negative effects from oral bacteria and promotes healing by sterilizing your mouth without irritating it. To create your warm saltwater rinse, use a ½ teaspoon of salt and add it to 1 cup of warm water. Sip some into your mouth, swish it for as long as you can (30 seconds to 1 minute should be enough), and spit it out. Alternatively, you can create a solution of equal parts hydrogen peroxide and water that will also provide pain relief. Follow the same instructions as above for the hydrogen peroxide solution. Both rinses are highly effective—try them out and you'll see!

Broken Braces' Archwires And Dental Brackets

Metal appliances can occasionally cause minor abrasions or irritations in your mouth. They are not serious, but they can be irritating. If a part of your appliance is causing irritation, try repositioning it with a soft pencil eraser or covering the area with dental wax or cotton. If an archwire is causing severe pain and you cannot fix it, you can cut it yourself with nail clippers sterilized with alcohol. If you do so or need additional assistance, call our Huntington Beach office immediately!

Contact Your Huntington Beach, CA Orthodontic Experts, Today!

After you've begun your orthodontic treatment you'll realize after a couple of sessions that, although you're anxious the see the results, the process can be a little painful. Dr. Harner, along with our entire team, want to help you achieve a beautiful, healthy smile while minimizing the discomfort throughout the entire treatment. Contact us for more information directly at (714) 842-9933 or request an appointment with our online form.