Common issues can often be resolved without an office visit! Please read through these troubleshooting tips before calling our office. If you still have questions or need to be seen, contact our office! 

Sore Teeth or Gums

It is normal to experience soreness for a few or more days after getting your braces on or an adjustment. Soreness is actually good – it means your teeth are moving! Everyone’s experience will be different, and this is no cause for concern. Sore a few weeks after an adjustment? This usually occurs because certain teeth are delayed in moving and is a sign that your treatment is progressing!

Solution: During this initial period of soreness, you may take limited amounts of your preferred over-the-counter pain reliever such as Tylenol or Ibuprofen. We do not recommend taking pain reducers on an extended basis. To relieve gum soreness, try rinsing your mouth with warm salt water (1 teaspoon of salt with a cup of warm water) twice a day. 

Poking Wire

Sometimes the arc wire that connects braces can become dislodged from its tube on your back molar. It’s important to fix this immediately even if the wire isn’t irritating so that your treatment can continue! In most cases, you can fix this on your own. Contact our office if you need assistance or are unsuccessful. 

Solution: If the main wire has come out of the tube on your molar, try reinserting the wire with a pair of needle-nosed pliers or tweezers. If the wire is still in the tube but bent or causing irritation, try using a pencil eraser or Q-tip to push the wire back into its original spot. If the wire cannot be moved to a comfortable spot then cover the area with a small piece of wax or a cotton ball and call our office for an adjustment. If the wire is poking you and wax does not help, the wire can be cut as close as possible to the back of the last bracket with a small wire cutter or nail clipper.

Loose Bracket

Loose or broken brackets are best resolved by professionals! Give our office a call and set up an appointment. In the meantime, you can use tweezers to reposition the bracket if it has flipped around the wire and becomes a source of irritation or cover the bracket with wax. 

Retainer Broken or Rubbing

If your retainer cracks or breaks, call our office as soon as possible to schedule a repair visit. This is not an emergency, so please wait until regular office hours to call our office. Do not wear the broken retainer, but your teeth can start to move without it so do not wait a long time to get it repaired. Bring all the pieces to your repair appointment! 

If your retainer is rubbing your gums, call our office and make an appointment to have the retainer adjusted. Continue to wear the retainer if possible until you can be seen, even if that means wearing it for shorter periods. Do not continue to wear the retainer if it causes a mouth sore. Saltwater rinses will help minimize the irritation. Ideally, the retainer needs to be adjusted within a week so that your teeth won’t shift.

Spacer/Separator Fall Out

If one of your rubber spacers falls out, you can attempt to put it back on yourself!

Solution: Take two pieces of dental floss and insert them through the spacer. Pull on both pieces of floss to stretch the spacer then wiggle the spacer back and forth between the teeth where it belongs. Once the bottom half of the spacer slips under the tight spot between the teeth, remove the floss and the spacer will fit back properly. 

Swallowing a piece of your appliance

Remain calm if you swallow a piece of your appliance. This will usually pass right through you without any harm. If you inhale a piece, you should seek immediate medical attention.  

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