Common Orthodontic Issues
Now that you have your braces, how do you take care of them? It’s important for you to know how to properly take care of them throughout your entire orthodontic treatment. Scroll down for some helpful tips to get you started.
When you first get your braces put 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 your teeth do not hurt to chew. The 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. We'll show you how!
Irritated gums and other sore spots are common when braces are first put on and 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 headaches or similar pain. Aspirin, Ibuprofen (Motrin, Advil) and Naproxen Sodium (Naprosyn, Anaprox) actually slow the tooth movement, so it is not advisable to use them frequently while wearing braces.
You might be surprised to learn that you may be able to solve many problems yourself temporarily until you can get to our office.
- Poking wire
Using a pencil eraser, push the poking wire down or place wax on it so that it is no longer poking.
- Loose appliance
If your appliance is poking you, place wax on the offending part.
- Loose bracket
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. If the bracket or band can be removed easily, place it in an envelope and save it to bring to your next appointment.
- Loose wire
Using a pair of tweezers or needle-nosed pliers, try to put your wire back into place. 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.