Soreness and Irritation
While general discomfort should subside within the first few days, new braces can irritate the skin inside the lips and cheeks, allowing tender spots to develop in the areas where the brackets touch the skin. While not an emergency, this can be uncomfortable, especially when eating. Topical anesthetics such as Orabase or Ora-gel can be applied directly to tender areas using a cotton swab for relief. Wax also provides a quick solution to bracket discomfort. Using just a small piece that has been rolled into a ball the size of a small pea, it can be flattened and placed over the bracket. This creates a buffer between the braces so that you can be more comfortable while getting used to your new braces. If a small piece of wax does not stay on, try using a larger one.
Occasionally, the sharp end of a wire will poke out from a bracket and cause pain or discomfort. This can be easily fixed by pushing the poking wire flat against the tooth with a pencil eraser. You can also cover the wire with wax for more comfort. If none of these techniques help, clip the wire with nail clippers as a last resort. Be sure to check all around your mouth for sharp areas at the end of each visit.
If a wire becomes loose from its bracket, try to put it back in its place using tweezers or needle-nose pliers. if it is just laying alongside the brackets, use a piece of wax to smooth it until you can get into the office.
Brackets can be knocked off from eating hard or crunchy foods. If the bracket is knocked off the tooth and has moved out of place, use sterile tweezers to slide the bracket along the wire back to its proper place at the center of the tooth. If the loose bracket has rotated, slide it between two teeth where there is more space, rotate it back into position, then slide it back to the center of the tooth. The above instructions are for minor issues that can be addressed at home. If it is a true emergency causing extreme discomfort, please call our office at 847.256.3235. One of the doctors is on call.