The best way to avoid an orthodontic emergency is to follow the directions you were given when your braces were placed. Avoiding hard and sticky foods should help ensure minimal breakage and poking wires. The following information will help you take care of most of your discomfort at home. Try one of these tricks first. If it does not work, please feel free to call us.
Soreness in and around the mouth: It is normal for your teeth to be sore after the braces are initially placed and after routine adjustments. The soreness will usually only last for a few days, but can occur for up to a week. Eating soft foods and taking over-the-counter pain reliever like Tylenol or Aspirin should ease the discomfort. Chewing sugarless gum will also help.
Soreness on the inside of the cheeks: It will take your cheeks a couple of weeks to adjust and toughen up to your new braces. If you get sore spots from a bracket or hook rubbing your cheek, place some wax over the bracket so your cheek has a chance to heal without being irritated further. Wax only sticks to dry metal or clear brackets. Also try rinsing with some warm salt water two to three times a day. An over-the-counter topical pain reliever such as Orabase can also be used.
Poking or broken wires: You can try to clip the wire with fingernail clippers or a small wire cutter that has been sterilized with alcohol, or bend it away from your cheek with a pencil eraser or tweezers. If neither of these things work, please call so we can assist you over the phone or make arrangements to see you.
Broken or loose brackets: If you have a loose or missing bracket, please call during business hours. Although a broken bracket usually is not an emergency, we do want to know about anything that is loose or broken so we can determine if we need to see you sooner or if it can wait for your next regularly scheduled appointment. If it is bothering you, try placing some wax over it. We may schedule an emergency appointment to remove it from the wire and repair it another time.