Most the time, having braces is pretty straightforward, and you’ll be able to go about your day-to-day life without having to think about them too much. However, there may be times when problems occur.
The best course of action is to call us straight away if something comes loose or breaks – we’ll be able to tell you whether you need to come in, or how to deal with it temporarily. But not everything is an emergency, and there are plenty of small problems that you’ll be able to sort yourself.
1. Pain and soreness
It’s normal to experience mild pain for a few days after your braces are first fitted, or when your wires are tightened or you change aligners. If you’re new to braces, you can expect your teeth to ache – this just shows that the braces are starting to work, and should soon pass. Over-the-counter painkillers will help, and pain relief gel around the gums can be soothing. Gargling with salt water can help ease a sore mouth. Sit tight and try not to worry, though – it shouldn’t last long!
2. Loose brackets
Although they’re very good at what they do, occasionally a bracket can become loose or even come off. If this happens, you need to get hold of some orthodontic wax (you can buy it from most pharmacies) and gently press it on to the bracket to help keep it in place temporarily. If the bracket comes off, keep hold of it if you can. Then give us a call as soon as you can so we can book you in to get it reattached – it’s an easy job, so don’t worry.
3. Mouth ulcers
This is a fairly common problem with braces, but mouth ulcers can be easily soothed with topical mouth ulcer gel. Gargling with cool salty water can also help. Try to eat soft food if the ulcer is really sore, and avoid eating things such as toast or crisps, as well as drinking hot drinks.
4. Dislocated wires
It’s possible that the end of your brace wires can become loose – if this happens, you’ll soon know about it as it’ll probably poke the inside of your mouth! If you can, try bending the wire flat against your teeth with a cotton bud, and use a small amount of orthodontic wax to soothe any irritation in your mouth. If you don’t have any wax to hand, use a small ball of wet cotton wool against the wire until you can get it seen to. While you don’t need to panic, you do need to call us, as loose or broken wires can cause teeth to shift, especially towards the end of your treatment.
Whatever your problem, don’t panic – give us a call and we’ll put you straight.