Life With Braces
Life with Braces
During the course of your orthodontic treatment you may experience a problem with your braces while at home, school or work. Here are some common problems that you can permanently or temporarily fix on your own. While these suggestions will often solve the problem, please do not hesitate to contact our office if you need further assistance. Severe pain, trauma, excess bleeding, or facial injury may require emergency treatment.
Discomfort or embarrassment can result for this common problem. A piece of dental floss, interproximal brush or toothpick can be used to dislodge the particle of food. While flossing can be difficult with braces, the use of a Waterpick Water Flosser with an orthodontic tip can be beneficial dislodging food particles.
An irritating loose wire or a sharp arch wire that ends in the back of the mouth can be covered with wax. It can also be pushed back into place using an eraser, spoon or tweezers. If necessary, the wire can be clipped with nail clippers.
A bracket is considered loose or broken when you can see that is if off centered and it can slide back and forth along the wire. A band is loose if it moves up and down on your tooth. If either is causing discomfort, place orthodontic wax on it – this will also help minimize the movement. If something is loose or broken, call our office during regular office hours and we will schedule a time for you to come in to fix it. If a band or bracket actually comes off, wrap it in a tissue and bring it to your next visit.
If a spacer falls out more than 24 hours before your next scheduled appointment, call our office to make an arrangements to come in and have it replaced.
This is not an urgent situation. At your next scheduled appointment, just tell us about any missing elastics or tie wires.
Some patients can get mouth sores due to the irritation of braces. They are most common on the cheeks, lips and tongue. This is not an emergency, but may be uncomfortable. Place wax on the braces to provide more comfort. Prompt relief may also be achieved by applying a small amount of topical anesthetic (such as Orabase) directly to the ulcerated surface using a cotton swab. Warm salt-water rinses can also help sooth mouth sores.
When you get your braces on, you may feel general soreness in your mouth and your teeth may be tender to biting pressure for three to five days. During this time, make sure you eat soft foods – and remember that the more you try to chew the better they will feel. Common pain relievers such as Tylenol or Advil are recommended for relief from minor discomfort.
In addition, you may experience mouth sores due to the irritation of braces. These are most common on the cheeks, lips and tongue. This is not an emergency, but may be uncomfortable. Place wax on the braces to provide more comfort. Prompt relief may also be achieved by applying a small amount of topical anesthetic (such as Orabase) directly to the ulcerated surface using a cotton swab. Warm salt-water rinses can also help sooth mouth sores.