First Aid for Braces & Retainers
- If a wire is poking you, first try to bend it with a spoon or a pencil eraser. If you are unsuccessful, place a small piece of wax or wet cotton over it until you can get in for an appointment.
- If a bracket or band is loose and still attached to the archwire, leave it in place. If it becomes uncomfortable, cover with wax and call for an appointment. If it comes completely out, bring it with you to your next appointment. Do not attempt to connect headgear or elastics to a loose band.
- If the arch wire comes out of a tube, try to place the wire back into the tube with tweezers. Place wax if uncomfortable and call for an appointment.
- If your teeth are sore after an orthodontic visit, take acetaminophen (Tylenol) or ibuprofen (Advil) as normally recommended. Another tip is to rinse your mouth with really warm water with a little bit of salt dissolved in it. This helps sooth the gums much like a hot-water bottle will do for sore muscles! Plan soft foods for meals until the discomfort goes away — which is usually 48 hours. If the discomfort gets progressively worse or remains the same after 4 days, call us!
If a part of your braces breaks, save the piece and call to set up a repair visit. If a retainer breaks, do not try to repair it yourself. Call to have us repair it.
- If you notice some small spaces developing between your teeth while you have braces on, don’t panic! This is usually normal and expected as teeth move into different positions, particularly in the early stages of treatment. They will be closed eventually.
- If a rubber spacer falls out, you can try to replace it your self by threading a couple pieces of floss through it and then pulling it under and up between the teeth. Then remove the floss.
- If you experience any bleeding when brushing or flossing, that usually means there is a local area of infection. Continue to keep the area clean by brushing, flossing and rinsing with Listerine. If a particular area is painful or you notice a bump of any sort, you should address this to Dr. Snodell as soon as possible.