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How experts tackle minor orthodontic concerns – Your go-to resource
While unforeseen problems with your braces can sometimes occur, it’s important to understand that true orthodontic emergencies are uncommon. Orthodontic problems tend to be minor and can often be addressed with simple at-home solutions, ideally after a consultation with your orthodontist. Keep reading to learn how to manage orthodontic concerns at home.
Irritation in Mouth
- Sometimes, braces or wires may irritate the mouth, particularly while eating. A small amount of orthodontic relief wax creates a protective barrier between the metal and your mouth. Take a small amount, about the size of a small pea, pinch it off, roll it into a ball, and then flatten it. Place this flattened piece entirely over the area where the braces are irritating. It is readily available at most drug stores if you cannot obtain wax from your orthodontist.
- Protruding braces wire is another minor issue that can be managed at home. The end of a wire may shift out of its intended position rarely, potentially causing discomfort in the mouth. You can take a Q-tip or clean tweezers and gently attempt to push the wire back into place, ensuring it lies flat against the tooth.
If you find it challenging to reposition the wire comfortably, use orthodontic relief wax to cover it. If there are any notable changes to your wires during this time, you should contact your orthodontist to inform them about the issue and seek further guidance.
- An ‘O’ ring is a small rubber band, or occasionally a thin wire, crucial in securing the orthodontic wire within the bracket or brace. If a rubber O-ring comes off, you can reposition it using sanitized tweezers. However, in case of a loose wire ligature, it can be removed with tweezers.
If the wire ligature protrudes into the lip but remains secure, gently bend it back into place using a Q-tip or pencil eraser to alleviate any irritation. However, it’s important to promptly inform your orthodontist of this issue to develop a plan for necessary repairs.
Discomfort With Braces
- Experiencing discomfort while undergoing orthodontic treatment is common. Discomfort occurs primarily as your teeth shift and adjust. However, it’s essential to note that this discomfort typically subsides within a few days.
You can help manage it by rinsing your mouth with warm salt water and, if needed, using over-the-counter pain relievers like acetaminophen or ibuprofen. If the discomfort persists after a couple of days, it’s advisable to contact your orthodontist for further discussion and guidance.
- While braces do not directly cause mouth sores, they can occasionally trigger or worsen them due to irritation. These sores may occur as one or several ulcers on the cheeks, lips, or tongue. Although not classified as an emergency, they can be highly uncomfortable.
Promptly apply a small amount of topical anesthetic directly to the affected area using a cotton swab to alleviate the discomfort. However, you should contact your orthodontist if the discomfort remains even after several days.
- It’s important to realize that some orthodontic situations require immediate attention. These include swallowing a part of your orthodontic appliance, a traumatic injury that causes bleeding, chipped, fractured, loose, or knocked out tooth.
Orthodontic emergency? Don’t hesitate. Contact Icon Dental Orthodontics today to schedule an appointment with the best orthodontists in Seattle or Everett. Our expert dentists are dedicated to providing the best orthodontic treatment, from prevention and diagnosis to treatment and beyond. Trust us to help you achieve a healthier, more beautiful smile. For consultations or bookings, call us at (206) 225-2882 for Seattle and (425) 337-2400 for Everett appointments.