If a wire is poking you, first try to
bend it with a spoon or a pencil eraser. If you are unsuccessful, place
a small piece of wax or wet cotton over it until you can get in for an
If a bracket or band is loose and still attached to the archwire, leave
it in place. If it becomes uncomfortable, cover with wax and call for
an appointment. If it comes completely out, bring it with you to your
next appointment. Do not attempt to connect headgear or elastics to a
If the arch wire comes out of a tube, try to place
the wire back into the tube with tweezers. Place wax if uncomfortable
and call for an appointment.
If your teeth are sore after an orthodontic visit, take acetaminophen
(Tylenol) or ibuprofen (Advil) as normally recommended. Another tip is
to rinse you mouth with really warm water with a little bit of salt dissolved
in it. This helps sooth the gums much like a hot-water bottle will do
for sore muscles! Plan soft foods for meals until the discomfort goes
away -- which is usually 48 hours. If the discomfort gets progressively
worse or remains the same after 4 days, call your orthodontist!
If a part of your braces breaks, save the piece
and call to set up a repair visit.
If a retainer breaks, do not try to repair it yourself. Call to have an
orthodontist repair it.
If you notice some small spaces developing between your teeth while you
have braces on, don't panic! This is usually normal and expected as teeth
move into different positions, particularly in the early stages of treatment.
They will be closed eventually.
If a rubber spacer falls out, you can try to replace
it your self by threading a couple pieces of floss through it and then
pulling it under and up between the teeth. Then remove the floss.
If you experience any bleeding when brushing or flossing, that usually
means there is a local area of infection. Continue to keep the area clean
by brushing, flossing and rinsing with Listerine. If a particular area
is painful or you notice a bump of any sort, you should address this to
your orthodontist as soon as possible.