Braces are the most popular and effective way to correct the alignment of your teeth. For some orthodontic patients, minor irritation or other issues can occur. Luckily, these issues are often easily resolved. For your reference, we’ve compiled a guide to understanding how to best handle a few issues you might experience.
Discomfort From the Brackets
Minor discomfort for the first few days after placement or adjustment is normal. We advise sticking to a diet of soft, easy-to-chew foods. You may find it helpful to rinse your mouth with warm salt water. You may take ibuprofen if you feel you need it. If discomfort continues beyond the first week, contact our office for guidance.
Food Stuck in the Brackets
It may take some time to adjust to eating with your braces. If food gets caught between your teeth, try using ortho flossers or a water flosser. Creating a small knot in the floss might make it more effective at catching the lodged piece of food. Small toothbrushes or interdental cleaners may also be an effective way to clean out the gaps between your teeth and in brackets. A toothpick may also work, but use extra caution when working around the wires of your braces.
Cheek and Lip Discomfort
Wires and brackets can rub against your lips or inner cheeks causing discomfort. In these instances, use non-medicinal relief wax to cover the problematic area. This can make eating and talking more comfortable. The wax is harmless if accidentally swallowed. You can ask our team for some orthodontic wax if you need it.
Though not common, wires can shift and protrude into your mouth. Attempt to push the wire back into place against your teeth using a cotton swab or even a clean pencil eraser. Make sure to let us know about the issue during your next visit. If the wire breaks or pops out completely, call our office for an appointment as soon as possible.
Loose Brackets or Bands
Any loosening of your braces should be examined by our team. Loosening may occur from eating hard, crunchy foods or from playing contact sports. Your best defenses are avoiding troublesome foods and wearing a mouthguard if you are playing sports. If any part of your braces comes off, please save it and bring it with you to our office.
Adjusting to braces can take some time. Always have non-medicinal relief wax on hand in case your braces become an irritant. If your braces are loose or parts are falling off, please contact us immediately. The best way to keep your braces secure is to avoid sticky, hard, and crunchy foods. Don’t forget to brush thoroughly after each meal to clean out any food particles that may have become lodged between your teeth. For questions about your braces or tips on how to care for them, please contact our office.