If you experience severe pain or a problem with your orthodontic equipment that cannot be fixed at home, you will need to contact your orthodontist immediately to get it resolved. Leaving your tooth in pain or your equipment damaged for a long period of time will ultimately set back your treatment plan. Thankfully, you can temporarily resolve most orthodontic emergencies yourself, at home.
After your braces are adhered to your teeth, you may experience some soreness associated with them, such as tenderness during biting pressure. Your orthodontist will recommend eating a soft diet for several days following the appointment. If you’re following this diet and still feel general soreness in your teeth or gums, it can be relieved by rinsing your mouth with a warm saltwater solution. Dissolve one teaspoon of salt in eight ounces of warm water and rinse your mouth vigorously. You can also take over the counter medications such as Tylenol. It is not recommended to take NSAIDs like ibuprofen, as these medications actually slow down the movement of your teeth, which of course interferes with your orthodontic treatment.
If you find that your lips, cheeks, or tongue become irritated as they adjust to your new braces; you can put dental wax on the braces to lessen irritation.
If you have been prescribed headgear by your orthodontist, you must wear it exactly as instructed. Discomfort can be caused by not wearing your headgear regularly. Typically, the headgear hurts less the more it is worn. Also, if you find that something is damaged or bent on your equipment, you will need to contact your orthodontist for it to be repaired.
If part of your braces or headgear is loose and poking you, place wax on the offending part until you can see your orthodontist.
If your bracket or band is still attached to the wire, you should leave it in place and put wax on it if you need some comfort. If the bracket or band can be removed easily, place it in an envelope and save it to bring to your next orthodontist appointment.
Using a pair of tweezers or needle-nosed pliers, try to put your wire back into place. It is okay to use a piece of floss to tie the wire into place. To do this, tie the floss around the bracket in place of the missing colored o-ring. If you cannot put the wire into a comfortable position, and covering the end with wax doesn’t help, as a last resort use a small fingernail clipper to clip the wire behind the last tooth to which it is securely fastened. If the end of the wire is still sharp, place wax on it.
Using a pencil eraser, push the poking wire down or place wax on it so that it is no longer poking you.
If you are hesitant to perform any of these quick fixes at home, there’s nothing wrong with just leaving it alone and coming in for an appointment. We’re here to make your orthodontic experience as comfortable as possible.