Thursday, October 28, 2021

Handling Orthodontics Issues at Home

Even though you are careful, you may occasionally damage your braces or orthodontic appliance. While there are steps you can take to temporarily fix or alleviate discomfort and prevent additional damage, you should always notify our office if you have any issues or concerns. 

At Kelly Orthodontics, we want our patients to be informed of problems that may occur, and understand how to solve them, at least temporarily, until it is possible to return to our office. With the tools and supplies listed below, you will be prepared to handle the most common orthodontic issues at home.

  • Orthodontic Wax
  • Dental Floss 
  • Tweezers
  • Q-tips 
  • Salt 
  • Interproximal Brush 
  • Toothpicks 
  • Non-prescription Pain Reliever  
  • Topical Anesthetic (such as Orabase or Ora-Gel)

Below are some typical orthodontic issues and how you can solve them:

Discomfort - It’s normal to have some initial discomfort during orthodontic treatment as your teeth move. Rinsing your mouth with warm salt water and over-the-counter pain relievers, such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen, may alleviate this discomfort.  If the discomfort lasts longer than a couple days, be sure to call our office.

If food becomes stuck between your teeth, use dental floss or a proxy brush to dislodge the food. If you cut your gums, tongue or the inside of your cheek, apply finger pressure to the bleeding site for several minutes. If the bleeding doesn’t stop, call your family dentist or our office.

Minor irritations and canker sores will heal more quickly if you apply Zylactin or Orabase according to the manufacturer's directions. You can purchase it over the counter at most pharmacies and convenient stores.

Loose or Poking Archwires - 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 or a cotton ball until you can see us for an adjustment.

If the main wire has come out of the tube on the back tooth, attempt to reinsert the wire with a pair of needle-nose pliers or tweezers. If the wire is sticking you, place a piece of wax over the area. As a last resort, if you cannot come into our office, the wire can be cut with a small wire cutter or fingernail clippers close to the back of the last brace.

Loose Brackets or Bands - If a bracket becomes loose, it usually remains connected to the main wire by a little colored rubber ring or a small steel ligature tie. 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 the problem. If a piece of your braces break, save the piece and call our office to schedule a repair visit.

There will be normal, day-to-day discomfort associated with wearing braces, if you have any questions about your orthodontic treatment, or if you think you may have a true orthodontic emergency, don’t hesitate to call our St. Charles orthodontic office…We are here help!

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