An actual braces emergency is unlikely. If something doesn’t feel right or you experience real pain or discomfort, call our office right away. While emergencies are rare, every so often, you may experience a minor comfort concern. Here’s how to troubleshoot it at home:
Tender or Sensitive Teeth
When you initially get your braces put on and after adjustments, your teeth may be tender or sensitive to pressure. This is completely normal and will go away within a few days and, for some patients, within a few hours. Try eating soft foods and sipping on cold drinks. Patients occasionally choose to take over-the-counter pain relievers the first day of treatment to lessen discomfort, which is perfectly fine. To get the best results from medication, take it right before your bonding appointment.
If a wire is poking your cheek, carefully use a clean cotton swab or the eraser end of a pencil to move it out of the way. You can cover the end of it with orthodontic wax to act as a buffer too. Sometimes, if you damage or lose a bracket, you’ll be left with a really long piece of wire. You can wash nail clippers and then sterilize them in alcohol and very gently cut the excess before covering whatever is left with orthodontic wax. Be sure to call us so we can schedule you for a repair appointment.
Cheek and Lip Irritation
It’s not uncommon for it to feel like your brackets are “sticking out” at first but this sensation passes. Your lips, cheeks and tongue might become irritated after getting braces put on. They’ll toughen up and, in a week or two, acclimate to your hardware. To speed things along, try swishing a saltwater rinse (one teaspoon of salt dissolved in eight ounces of lukewarm water) around in your mouth and then spitting it out. You can also put small pieces of orthodontic wax over the parts of your braces that are bothering you. We always have extra wax at our offices, so give us a call at (918) 342-1240 (Claremore) or (918) 749-8817 (Tulsa) if you need more.
To avoid this scenario, stay away from restricted foods and wear a mouthguard when playing sports. However, if a broken bracket does happen, keep calm. For a broken bracket in the front of your mouth, use a piece of tissue or cotton to dry it off and then cover it with orthodontic wax to keep it in place and prevent irritation. If the damaged bracket is at the back of your mouth, you can try to carefully slide it off the wire and clip any excess wire with your sterilized nail clippers. Call us at (918) 342-1240 (Claremore) or (918) 749-8817 (Tulsa) and let us know about your broken bracket.