If your child has recently had metal braces placed on the teeth, then he or she may complain about the metal brackets and wires rubbing against the checks and the insides of the lips. This can create sores. Keep reading to learn why they sores should not be ignored and what can be done to treat them.
Why Should The Mouth Sores Be Treated?
Mouth sores can easily develop when braces are first secured on the teeth and the sores are open wounds in the mouth. These sores come into direct contact with the bacteria and the fungal cells that sit in your mouth. The microorganisms then have the opportunity to infect the sores, which can cause an oral infection. Bacterial and fungal infections are both possible. Antibiotics are typically needed to treat bacterial infections and antifungal medications are used to treat thrush or the fungal infection.
Not only can the sores become infected, but chronic sores called ulcers can develop. These sores take longer to go away than the typical ones that develop due to irritation. Ulcers can be painful and they can also swell. Steroidal medications that include topical gels, pills, or rinses are often needed to treat more serious sores.
How Can The Sores Be Treated?
If your child develops sores in the mouth from braces, there are several things that they should do to help resolve the situation. Salt water rinses should be used to control inflammation and to also kill the bacteria in the mouth that can cause infection issues. Your child should also place dental wax over the braces, or they can use an adhesive strip product that can be placed over the brackets and the wires. Products called lip protectors, flexible plastic coverings that sit directly over the braces, are a good idea too.
When it comes to treating the sores directly, look for an oral rinse at your local pharmacy that is meant to protect canker sores and ulcers. These products create a film or barrier over the sores to minimize discomfort and to also keep bacteria from causing more serious infection issues. Gels made with aloe vera can soothe and protect as well.
Once treatments are started, investigate the oral issue to make sure the sores start to disappear within about two to three weeks. This is normal and the tissues of the mouth with start to get used to the rubbing of the braces within this timeframe.