If you’ve damaged your braces, you might not need to schedule a special appointment with Dr. Hage. Many issues that come up during orthodontic treatment can be resolved at home with wax, tweezers and nail clippers.
Continue reading to learn how to resolve tooth pain, cheek irritation, broken brackets, and more. Our staff is always available to answer any questions you might have between appointments.
Tooth Pain after Adjustments
During the course of treatment, we’ll make slight adjustments to your braces to ensure your teeth and jaws move into optimal alignment.
Since dental braces exert pressure on your teeth, you will feel slight pain or discomfort several hours after your appointment. We recommend taking over-the-counter pain relievers (such as Ibuprofen) right before your appointment. That way, the pain reliever has a chance to work before we adjust your braces. It is also a good idea to eat soft foods after your appointment, such as mashed potatoes, pasta, etc.
Irritated Lips and Cheeks
After getting braces initially, we’ll give you some wax in case the brackets irritate your lips and cheeks. Simply pinch a pea sized piece of wax and squeeze it between your fingers to soften it. Next, gently push the wax on the top of the offending bracket. Many of our patients use wax before meals to avoid irritating the soft tissue while eating. Since wax isn’t medicated, it’s harmless if accidentally swallowed.
Loose or Missing Elastic Ties
During orthodontic treatment, you’ll need to avoid sticky foods such as caramel. Otherwise, the small elastic ties that hold the arch wire in place can come loose or fall completely off their brackets. We recommend using tweezers to slide the elastic tie back onto the corners of the bracket, if you cannot get the tie back on with the tweezers, contact our office.
If you play contact sports, let us know so we can give you a mouth guard. A mouth guard for braces forms a protective layer around your teeth so you won’t need dental attention the next time you’re tackled on the field. A bracket can also come loose after biting into hard foods, like whole apples and carrots, so try to avoid hard foods and candies.
Most patients don’t realize that a bracket is loose until they go to brush their teeth and notice that the bracket is off-center on the tooth.
If a bracket comes loose between appointments, you’ll need to schedule an appointment to have it replaced, or if you’re next appointment is in the upcoming week or so, we’ll just repair it at that appointment. In the meantime, use tweezers or your fingers to slide the bracket into its proper place.
If you have a wire protruding off the end of your last bracket, use a small nail clipper to try to trim the excess. We recommend using a folded tissue to isolate the piece of wire from your gums before trimming. If the excess wire isn’t long enough to trim, place a pea sized piece of wax between the wire and your cheek.
Hage Orthodontics is dedicated to helping you achieve your best smile with braces. To schedule a consultation with Dr. Hage call 217-234-4734 or 217-347-5576.