If you’ve ever had braces, or been a parent of someone who has, you know braces will transform your smile. You also probably know there can be bumps along the path to that perfectly aligned smile. From that post-adjustment period, poking wires and broken brackets, having braces isn’t always sunshine and roses. Luckily, we’ve been down this road before, so we’ll help you create your very own braces survival kit.
In order to help you be prepared for whatever may happen while you’re wearing braces, make sure you have these 5 things with you. It’s important to make sure you have a good guide for techniques to follow in case of minor orthodontic emergencies.
Orthodontic wax is designed to stick to the metal or ceramic parts of your braces. Wax can help shield sensitive areas of your mouth as you get used to having braces or cover a wire that is poking you. It can also keep a loose bracket from wiggling too much until you can get to the office for a fix up. To use it, pull off a small piece of wax, roll it up to soften it, then place it over the bracket or wire. If you need more wax, let us know at your appointment and we’ll give you an ample supply.
Tweezers (clean and sterile) are a must-have in any orthodontic survival kit. Tweezers can be used to move, push, bend and slide wires into place. Different shaped tweezers can do different things, so be sure to keep a variety on hand.
NAIL CLIPPERS OR CUTICLE NIPPERS
If you aren’t able to push, bend or pull a wire back into place using tweezers, you may need to clip the wire if it is causing too much discomfort. The easiest way to do this is to use a pair of nail clippers or a cuticle nipper. If you can’t see what you’re doing, ask for help. Most school nurses’ offices are prepared for minor orthodontic emergencies. Note: make sure the tools are clean, sterile and kept only for the purposes of your orthodontic survival kit!
ORTHODONTIC FLOSS PICKS
This may sound obvious, but when you have braces, you’ll never want to leave home without an easy way to floss your teeth. The orthodontic floss picks are portable, easy to use with one hand and don’t require threading. They are specially shaped to fit under an archwire. You can keep them in a bag, glove box, pocket or anywhere. A floss pick plus a good swish of water can help if you are offered an unexpected snack and do not have a toothbrush handy.
OTC PAIN RELIEVER
The hours or even days after an orthodontic adjustment can be uncomfortable. Having a dose of parent-approved over the counter pain reliever is a great idea. If you are experiencing pain or discomfort that does not go away with a regular dose of OTC pain reliever like Acetaminophen or Ibuprofen, it’s a good idea to speak with your orthodontist or doctor. Otherwise, a quick pain relief method is just what you need to get your mind off your mouth.
When you get your braces on at Hage Orthodontics, we give you a little bag of orthodontic goodies. You can use this as a place to keep your survival kit.
Do you have braces or have had them in the past? What did you keep in your survival kit? We’d love to hear your ideas and suggestions in the comments.