COMMON PROBLEMS AND HOW TO RESOLVE
Loose or Broken Braces
You may discover that you have loose or broken braces. This is usually caused by playing with your braces or eating hard or sticky foods. This generally does not require an extra appointment unless it is associated with pain or discomfort.
If the bracket is attached to the wire, leave it in place and cover it with wax as needed for comfort.
If the bracket comes out completely, bring it with you to your next appointment. Avoid connecting elastics or a headgear appliance to any loose brackets. Be careful not to break too many brackets during your orthodontic treatment, as this can really hold up your braces treatment!
Eating hard or sticky foods or playing with your orthodontic braces can loosen a band. This generally does not require an extra appointment unless it is associated with pain or discomfort.
Avoid connecting elastics or a headgear appliance to any loose bands. If the band is still attached to the wire, it will usually wobble slightly. You can call the office to see if you need a special appointment to have the band recemented or if it can done at your regularly scheduled appointment time.
If the band comes off your tooth, the space needed to recement the band may close in a few days so call the office to schedule an appointment to have the band recemented.
If no recementation appointment is available within a few days of the band coming off, we can usually have you in for a quick appointment to place separators so the band space does not close. Remember to bring your band with you to your appointment.
Long Poking Archwire
Sometimes as your teeth shift, the ends of the wires will start poking out the back of the molar tubes and begin irritating the cheeks.
This problem is resolved by moving the wire away from the irritated area using a cotton swab or pencil eraser. If the wire does not move, cover it with a small pea-sized amount of wax or cotton. You may also try cutting the wire with nail clippers that have been washed and sterilized in alcohol.
Call the office for an extra appointment if you cannot resolve the problem.
Tooth discomfort or soreness
Teeth may become sore or achy following an orthodontic activation appointment. Usually the teeth are most sore during the first 24 – 72 hours. After 72 hours, the teeth usually start feeling better. Eat soft food if necessary and take the pain relief you would use for a headache.
Sores or ulcerations inside the mouth
During the first week of treatment, you may notice sores or ulcerations inside your mouth. This can happen because your lips and cheeks are not yet used to rubbing against your orthodontic braces.
Over time, your skin on the inside of your mouth will get tougher and you will not have sores anymore. To provide some relief for your lips and cheeks rubbing against your rough braces, you can place a small pea-sized amount of wax or cotton on the area of the braces that is causing the sore or ulceration.
The sore should improve within a couple of days and completely heal within a week. If the sore or ulceration does not improve or gets worse, call us to have it looked at.
Wire out of tube or slot
During treatment, flexible wires may slip out of the bracket slots of the back teeth. This may be avoided by not eating anything hard or chewy. If the wire comes out of the tube, try placing the wire back in the tube or under the tube using tweezers. If necessary, cover the loose wire with wax.
Poking Metal Tie
Occasionally, metal wires are used to tie the archwire to the brackets or bands. Sometimes during eating or brushing, this metal wire tie can accidentally be bent and start to cause irritation to your lips or cheeks.
You can try to push to poky wire back into place by using the end of a pencil eraser. If this is not possible, you can place wax on the area causing the irritation until you can be seen by us to have it fixed.
Lost Elastic Tie
If an elastic ties falls off call our office to get advice on what to do. Sometimes, you can wait until your next appointment to have it replaced. Other times, we will want to see you for a quick visit to put the elastic tie back on.
Headgear or other orthodontic appliance does not fit
Call the office for an appointment to have the orthodontic appliance or headgear adjusted.
Accidents involving teeth
If an accident occurs during treatment involving the teeth, call your dentist immediately.