Troubleshooting common problems can often be done without an office visit.
After you first get your braces on or have an adjustment your teeth will be sore for a few days up to a week. This is your teeth moving! Take aspirin, Tylenol or ibuprofen (unless allergic) to lessen the discomfort. Rinsing your mouth with a saltwater (1 teaspoon of salt with a cup of warm water) can also be soothing and toughen your gums. Teeth can get sore even after a few weeks after an adjustment. This occasionally occurs because a tooth or teeth are delayed in moving.
If a wire causes irritation, push the wire away from the area using the eraser end of a pencil or a Q-tip. If the wire cannot be tucked away, cover the end of the wire with a small piece of wax, a cotton ball, or a piece of sugarless gum, until you can be seen in the office for an adjustment.
If the main wire has come out of the tube on your back molar tooth, attempt to reinsert the wire with a pair of needle nosed pliers or tweezers. If the wire is not sticking you, place a piece of wax over the area. If the wire is sticking you and wax does not help, the wire can be cut with a small wire cutter or toenail clipper close to the back of the last brace. This is a last resort if professional help is unavailable.
If a bracket becomes loose, it usually remains connected to the main wire by a little rubber colored ring. Eyebrow tweezers can be used to reposition the brace if it flips around the wire and becomes a source of irritation. Call our office and inform us of your situation.
In case a rubber spacer falls out, take two pieces of dental floss and insert them through the spacer. Pull on both pieces of floss to stretch the spacer then slide the spacer back and forth between the two teeth where it belongs. Once the bottom half of the spacer slips under the tight spot between the teeth, release and remove the floss and the spacer will fit back properly. If a piece of your appliance breaks, save the piece and call our office to schedule a repair visit.
If a retainer cracks, remove the retainer from your mouth and bring all the pieces to our office for professional repair. This is not an emergency. Call the office for a appointment during regular office hours. If your retainer is rubbing your gums call our office for an appointment so that the retainer can be adjusted. Do not continue to wear the retainer until it causes a sore. If it only causes a sore after wearing for a period of time, then wear the retainer for short periods until you can be seen so that the retainer continues to fit. Salt water rinses will help minimize the irritation. If possible the retainer needs to be adjusted within a week so that your teeth won’t shift.
Swallowing a piece of your appliance
Remain calm if you swallow a piece of your appliance. This will usually go either into the stomach and pass out of the body in a bowel movement. However, if difficulty breathing is experienced, you should seek immediate medical attention. X-rays will be taken to determine the location of the swallowed piece.