You can do it!
True orthodontic emergencies are rare, and many discomforts can be easily handled at home. On this page, we’ve listed lots of easy ways to help deal with minor braces issues you might experience from time to time.
We can help!
However, in the case of severe pain or a painful problem that you can’t resolve yourself, please call our office and make an emergency appointment.
After alleviating your discomfort, it is very important that you still call our office as soon as possible to schedule a time to repair the problem. Allowing your appliance to remain damaged for an extended period of time may result in disruptions to your treatment plan.
Loose or Broken Pieces or Brackets
If you remove a piece of your braces or appliance, put it in a plastic bag or envelope and bring it with you to your next appointment. If your bracket or band is still attached to the wire, you should leave it in place and put wax on it if needed for comfort.
Bent or Broken Wires and Equipment
If your braces are poking your gums or mouth, put soft wax on the piece that's sticking out. Or use a pencil eraser to push a poking wire down, and then put wax on it.
If the wire has slid to one side, you can pull it back to the other side with needle-nosed pliers, replacing it in the tube on the back tooth. It’s also okay to use a piece of floss to tie the wire into place: tie the floss around the bracket in place of the missing colored o-ring. If you cannot put the wire into a comfortable position, and covering the end with wax doesn't help, as a last resort use a small fingernail clipper to clip the wire behind the last tooth to which it is securely fastened. If the end of the wire is still sharp place wax on it.
If the loose wire is causing irritation to your lips or cheeks, put wax or a wet cotton ball over the broken wire to relieve the pain.
Sometimes discomfort is caused by not wearing headgear as instructed by your orthodontist. Please refer to the instructions provided by your orthodontist. If the facebow (metal piece) is bent, please call our office for assistance. The headgear should hurt less the more it's worn, so be sure you get in the prescribed number of hours.
When you get your braces on, you may feel general soreness in your mouth, and teeth may be tender to biting pressures for three to five days. Stick to a soft diet until chewing feels more comfortable.
Irritated gums and other sore spots can be relieved by rinsing your mouth with a warm salt-water mouthwash. Dissolve one teaspoonful of salt in eight ounces of warm water and rinse your mouth vigorously.
If the tenderness is severe, take Acetaminophen (Tylenol) or whatever you normally take for headache or similar pain. Aspirin, Ibuprofen (Motrin, Advil) and Naproxen Sodium (Naprosyn, Anaprox) actually slow the tooth movement, so don’t use them frequently while wearing braces.
Your lips, cheeks, and tongue may become irritated for one to two weeks as they learn a new posture and become accustomed to the surface of the braces. You can put wax on the braces to lessen this. Ask for a demonstration at your next appointment.
Teeth Feeling Loose
If your teeth begin feeling a little loose, don't worry; this is normal! Your braces must first loosen your teeth to move them into the right position. Once your teeth have been repositioned, they will no longer be loose.
In case of a sports emergency, be sure to immediately check your mouth and appliance for damage. If you notice any loose teeth or appliance damage, please contact our office right away. You can temporarily relieve the discomfort by applying wax or rinsing your mouth with warm saltwater.