Braces have been the treatment of choice for straightening teeth for over a century. Newer options such as Invisalign are gaining traction, but braces remain incredibly popular. Unfortunately, braces can cause some minor oral trouble. Here are some common problems with braces and how to fix them.
It is common to feel some soreness for three to five days after getting new braces, and again for a few hours after each adjustment. Relieve tender spots by dissolving a teaspoon of salt in eight ounces of warm water and rinsing vigorously. Unless contraindicated, you can also take an over the counter pain reliever such as Advil or Tylenol, and use a topical medication such as Orajel.
If your braces cause irritation of your lips, tongue, cheeks, or gums, try using some wax to reduce rubbing. We will teach you how to properly apply it.
We use durable dental cement to bond braces to your teeth, but it is not unusual for an individual bracket to come loose, especially when biting into something sticky or hard. This will not hurt your tooth or the braces, but the bracket will need to be re-secured. If the bracket completely falls off, put it in a safe spot and bring it to your repair appointment. If it is still connected to the arch wire, use wax to reduce mouth irritation and leave it where it is. Make an appointment to see us as soon as possible.
A loose band will also require an appointment as soon as possible. If it is still in place, leave it alone. If it comes out, keep it in a safe place until your repair appointment.
If you feel a wire poking you, it has likely shifted to one side. Look in the mirror and use a pair of tweezers to gently slide it back into position. If it appears to be centered or you are unable to move it, apply wax to minimize irritation or gently bend it back with a pencil eraser. Schedule an emergency appointment if the wire causes major mouth soreness, or tell us about the problem at your next scheduled visit.
You can generally push a popped wire back into place with tweezers. If you can’t move it, use wax to reduce mouth irritation. You can also use a pair of small, sterilized fingernail clippers to cut the wire behind the last tooth where it is still bonded. If all or most of the wire popped, make an emergency appointment. Otherwise, tell us about the issue at your next scheduled appointment.
Braces are a wonderful way to straighten your teeth, but they can cause minor mouth problems. Follow the advice above, and always give us a call if you have any questions or are not sure what to do.