Your mouth will certainly feel different once your new braces are in place. Yes, there will be some minor discomfort, but this is to be expected and won't last long. This is due to the physical pressure that the braces apply to your teeth to encourage bone remodeling, which is how your braces will realign your teeth. But what about irritations, such as canker sores? Are these small mouth ulcers a normal side effect of dental braces?

Other Lesions

It is important to make the distinction between canker sores and other types of lesions directly caused by your braces. An arch wire that is too long can protrude from one of the rear ends of your dental arch, and the tip of this wire might be rubbing against the lining of your cheek. This is not a canker sore and is simply tissue damage caused by direct contact with the sharp tip of the arch wire threaded through your braces' brackets. Place a tiny amount of dental wax on the end of this arch wire, and schedule an appointment with your orthodontist for an inspection and adjustment.

A History of Canker Sores

If you have never had canker sores, it is not as though your new braces will cause these ulcers to appear. However, if you have had these ulcers before, your braces can theoretically make brief contact with the lining of your mouth due to the natural movement of your jaw, triggering a recurrence of canker sores. If this should occur, avoid spicy and acidic foods, and rinse your mouth with saltwater

A Topical Solution

Most types of canker sores are self-correcting. They will disappear without the need for medical attention. That being said, if your canker sores should begin to appear more regularly after you have received braces, you should consult a dental professional. Your braces won't need to be removed, so don't be concerned that you may be unable to complete your orthodontic treatment. You might require topical treatment, which is an ointment (generally a corticosteroid) applied directly to the ulcers. This should be sufficient to manage any canker sores while your braces are in place. 

It is not as though there is a clear, indisputable link between dental braces and canker sores. Still, those who have experienced the problem before might need to deal with it while wearing braces, so it is important to be prepared.