Braces have long been the most common treatment for specific orthodontic issues. While they work well, braces can sometimes cause minor oral problems. Many issues can be cared for at home with simple techniques. Here are some suggestions.
Soreness is extremely common in the first three to five days after you have your braces placed. You may also feel sore for a few hours after each adjustment. You can relieve tenderness by rinsing your mouth vigorously with a teaspoon of salt dissolved in eight ounces of slightly warm water. You can also use Orajel or a similar over the counter topical medication. If needed, an over the counter pain reliever such as Tylenol or ibuprofen may be used.
Your braces may also cause mouth irritation to the cheeks, tongue, and lips, especially during the first two weeks. Your orthodontist will show you how to apply wax to the braces to minimize irritation.
The braces are bonded to your teeth with a strong dental cement, but individual brackets may occasionally break free, especially if you bite into hard or sticky food. This will not damage your tooth, but the bracket will need to be re-bonded. You do not need an emergency visit for a broken bracket, but you should make an appointment at your earliest convenience rather than waiting for your next scheduled visit. If the bracket is loose but still connected to the arch wire, leave it in place if possible, coating it with wax if it irritates your mouth. If the bracket comes off the wire, put it in a safe place and bring it to your repair appointment.
Like a broken bracket, a loose band is not an emergency, but it must be repaired as soon as it is reasonably convenient. If the band stays in place, leave it where it is. If it comes off completely, put it in a safe place and bring it to your repair appointment.
Most of the time, a poking wire has simply slid to one side or the other. Look in the mirror to see if it appears uncentered. Use tweezers with very light pressure to gently push it back into place. If you are unable to do so, or if it appears centered, use wax over the poking area to prevent irritation. You can also use a pencil eraser to gently move or bend the wire so that it no longer pokes. Let your orthodontist know about any poking wires at your next visit or make an emergency appointment if you develop mouth irritation that you cannot manage at home.
If a wire pops out of place, use tweezers to gently put it back where it belongs. If you are unable to do so, try using wax to minimize discomfort. As a last resort, you can use small, sterilized fingernail clippers to clip the wire behind the last tooth where it is still fastened in place. Let your orthodontist know what happened at your next appointment or make an emergency appointment if all or most of the wire popped.
Married dentists Chad and Alexandra Schnabel welcome you to Savannah Dental Solutions. From caring children’s dentistry to high-tech cosmetic procedures and even full-mouth reconstruction, we blend the latest technology with traditional customer-oriented values. To start your journey to better oral health, call us today at (912) 354-1366.