Even the most diligent patients can sometimes face unexpected problems with their orthodontic appliances. Do not panic because we are here to help you! The first step is to contact our office so we can discuss the nature of your problem and either help you get comfortable over the phone or schedule an emergency office appointment.
The most common problems with braces and orthodontic appliances include: irritation from wires, loose brackets, and lost or missing separators. If any of these occur, they can be fixed at our office, however, there are a few things you can do at home in the meantime:
In the event that one of your brackets or bands becomes loose, it will need to be re-attached. You should call our office to schedule an appointment. Save the lose pieces of the appliance and bring it with you for your appointment.
If a wire becomes dislodged or partially disconnected, it might cause some discomfort. A cotton swab works well to move the wire away from sensitive tissue. Press the end gently away from where it is rubbing. You can also cap the end with a small piece of dental wax or cotton. If this does not help, you may need to clip the offending piece of wire using small scissors or a pair of fingernail clippers that have been washed in warm soapy water and disinfected in alcohol. Be careful to not break off any of your brackets in the process.
During the course of treatment, a separator may be lost. You do not need to worry about this. Simply call our office and we will determine if and when it should be replaced.
In general, most patients might experience some level of discomfort during the course of orthodontic treatment. This sensitivity varies from patient to patient but usually is during the first few days after the braces are placed or immediately after routine adjustments. You can take over-the-counter pain relievers such as acetaminophen, ibuprofen or naproxen to improve the comfort.