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How to Handle Braces Emergencies?

True orthodontic emergencies are rare. However, if you do experience a problem like braces pain or an appliance issue you can’t fix yourself, give us a call. We’re always available to help and we’ll schedule you for an appointment to resolve the problem.

Occasionally, more minor issues can occur. You might be surprised to learn that many of these can easily be handled at home, at least temporarily, until you’re able to get to our office. After alleviating any discomfort, call us as soon as possible and we’ll let you know if you should come in for a repair appointment. Allowing your appliance to remain damaged for an extended period can result in disruptions to your treatment plan.

General Soreness

You should never feel any real braces pain. If you do, call us right away. However, when you get your braces put on, you may feel general soreness in your mouth, and your teeth may be tender to biting pressures for three to five days. Stick to a soft diet until the discomfort subsides. Mashed potatoes, yogurt, smoothies, protein shakes, mac and cheese and oatmeal are all great options.

Irritated gums or sore spots can be alleviated by rinsing your mouth with a warm saltwater mouthwash. Dissolve one teaspoon of salt in eight ounces of warm water, and swish it around vigorously in your mouth before spitting it out.

If the tenderness is severe, take Acetaminophen (Tylenol) or whatever you normally take for a headache 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.

Headgear Pain

If you don’t wear your headgear as instructed by your orthodontist, it can cause discomfort. Be sure to refer to the instructions Dr. Cronin or Dr. Czarnik gave you. If the facebow (metal piece) is bent, call our office for assistance. The headgear should hurt less the more it’s worn, so be sure you get in the prescribed number of hours.

Poking Braces Wire

Use the eraser end of a new pencil or the back of a spoon and carefully push the poking wire down. You can also place wax on it to serve as a buffer between the wire and the inside of your mouth.

Braces Irritation

The lips, cheeks and tongue may become irritated for one to two weeks after you first get braces. Once they learn a new posture and become accustomed to the surface of the braces, the irritation will disappear.

In the meantime, you can swish with a salt water rinse and use orthodontic wax to lessen this. We’ll show you exactly how to put wax on braces. Basically, you’ll break off a small piece of orthodontic wax, roll it in between your fingers to warm it up and then stick it on the parts of your braces that are irritating you.

Loose Braces Bracket or Band

If your bracket or band is still attached to the wire, you should leave it in place and cover it in wax if it’s causing discomfort. If the bracket or band can be removed easily, carefully take it out of your mouth and place it in an envelope or container. Save it and bring it with you to your next appointment.

Loose Braces Wire

You can very carefully use a pair of clean, sterilized tweezers or needle-nosed pliers to put your wire back in place. You can also use a piece of dental floss to tie the wire in position. Tie the floss around the bracket in place of the missing colored o-ring.

If you can’t move the wire into a comfortable position and covering the end with orthodontic wax doesn’t help, as a last resort, use sterilized, small fingernail clippers to clip the wire behind the last tooth to which it’s securely fastened. Cover the end of the remaining wire with wax if it’s still sharp.

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Confident Smiles Start With Expert Care

Don’t let your smile insecurities hold you back! As a top orthodontist in Westminster, CO, we have the knowledge and expertise to achieve fantastic results for patients of all ages. Whether you have slightly crooked teeth, severe orthodontic concerns or anything in between, our doctors will tailor treatment to your unique needs. To get started, schedule a complimentary consultation today!

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