Braces have been the world’s go-to solution for straightening teeth for over a hundred years now. And even though modern braces are more effective and comfortable than ever before, there are still a few things to complain about. This article explores what they are – and how you can fix them.
Braces no longer cause the agony they used to. But it’s common to feel moderate amounts of soreness the first few days after getting new braces – and for at least a day after each adjustment. Here are some easy ways to find relief.
- Over-the-counter painkillers like Advil or Tylenol and topical medication like Orajel.
- Applying ice packs and scarfing down cold food (hello, ice-cream) and drinks.
- Gently massaging your gums with your fingertips.
- Applying orthodontic wax to your braces.
- Rinsing your mouth with salt-water. (Dissolve a teaspoon of salt in eight ounces of warm water.)
- Using a heating pad or warm washcloth for jaw pain.
2. Broken brackets
So you’ve fallen victim to temptation and bitten into something sticky or hard. And your bracket’s come loose. It may feel like you’ve destroyed your braces, but don’t panic. You haven’t. You just need to get your bracket secured again. If your bracket is still connected to the arch wire, apply some orthodontic wax to reduce irritation and leave it where it is. Make an appointment with your orthodontist as soon as possible. If the bracket’s fallen off completely, put it in a safe, clean place and – yup, you guessed it – make an appointment with your orthodontist.
3. Loose bands
The same procedure as above, really. If the band has come loose but is still in place, let it be until you see your orthodontist. If it’s come out completely, put it away until your repair appointment.
4. Poking wires
If you feel a wire poking you in the mouth, it probably means that it’s shifted out of place. But you don’t have to book an orthodontic appointment right away. Instead, use a pair of tweezers to gently, gently, gently slide the loose wire back into position. It goes without saying you should do it in front of a mirror. If the wire refuses to move, apply some orthodontic wax and carefully bend it back with a pencil eraser without applying too much pressure. If that doesn’t help either, sigh in exasperation and book an orthodontic appointment.
5. Popped wire
A popped wire can usually be pushed back into place with a pair of tweezers. You can also use a small, sterilized pair of nail clippers to cut the wire behind the last tooth. Use wax to reduce irritation. But if all the wire, or even most of it, has popped, book an appointment with your orthodontist right away.