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Although canker sores can arise in your mouth anytime, they can especially show up when you are first wearing braces. What do they look like? Canker sores are white (or yellow) shallow ulcers surrounded by a red border. They crop up as the soft oral tissues in your mouth may be irritated for one to two weeks while they adjust to the braces in your mouth.

Dr. Daniel Bradshaw and our team in Johnson City, Tennessee would like to share some tips today to help you when you have canker sores.

If your braces are the cause of your canker sores, dental wax can help! Dental wax, or orthodontic wax, can protect the mouth from irritation so the tissues can heal. Just take a small piece of wax, roll it into a ball, and stick it over the braces where you are experiencing discomfort.

In addition, orthodontic wax is helpful for preventing oral sores if you keep it on those areas where the braces are rubbing until the oral tissues have toughened up a bit. If you experience a broken wire or rubbing from loose bands, you can end up with a sore mouth, tongue or canker sores.

Another form of relief from canker sores is to apply ointment for pain and irritation. Just apply a tiny bit of over-the-counter numbing ointment on the sore, and periodically use a salt water rinse to keep bacteria away from the affected area. If necessary, you may also try an over-the-counter pain reliever, such as ibuprofen.

And last but not least, avoid irritating your oral tissues by staying away from hot, spicy, or acidic foods until your mouth adjusts to the braces.

Dr. Daniel Bradshaw and our Bradshaw & Hathaway team in Johnson City, Tennessee are pleased to be here for all of your oral care needs. To speak to a member of our staff with any concerns, please call 423-929-1126, and we are happy to assist!