Help with Braces

Things to Keep in Mind

Most concerns can be remedied at home. However, if you have a situation that you are not able to resolve on your own, please call our office so we can schedule you a COMFORT CARE or REPAIR appointment.

Listed below are some common concerns that may arise along with some helpful suggestions:

If a separator falls out…
If a separator falls out and your next appointment is within the next two days, you do not have to come back to our office to have the separator replaced. However, if the separator falls out within a day or two of being placed, you should call our office to schedule a quick appointment to have the separator replaced.

If an alastic (little rubber ring) comes off…
If an alastic (little rubber ring) comes off, phone our office to schedule an appointment with the orthodontist that is providing your orthodontic care.

If the rubber c-chain breaks…
If the rubber c-chain breaks, phone our office to schedule an appointment with the orthodontist that is providing your orthodontic care.

If a ligature wire is causing irritation…  
If a ligature wire is causing irritation, try tucking the ligature wire away from the area by using the eraser end of a pencil or a Q-tip. If the ligature wire cannot be tucked in, cover the end of the wire with a small piece of wax, a cotton ball or a piece of sugarless gum. Cutting the wire should only be done as a last resort. Please call our office for an appointment.

If the main archwire has come out of the tube…
If the main archwire has come out of the tube on the back molar, you may attempt to reinsert the wire with a pair of needle nose pliers or tweezers. If you are not successful in placing the wire back into the tube, place a piece of wax over the area. If the archwire is long and poking you, apply wax to the area. If the wax does not help, the wire can be cut with a wire cutter or nail clipper close to the back of the brace. Cutting the wire should be done as a last resort. Please call our office to schedule an appointment.

If the main archwire is long…   
If the main archwire is long and poking you, we recommend covering the area with wax until you can get in to see us for an appointment. If this does not provide relief, you may wish to try and trim the wire with nail clippers or small wire cutters, if you have them. Do this as a last resort.

If a bracket is loose…   
If a bracket (the small rectangular brace) is loose, call our office to schedule an appointment. In most cases, the bracket will remain attached to the main archwire. A loose bracket can be left in place until you are seen for your appointment. You may use a pair of eyebrow tweezers to reposition the brace if it flips around the wire and becomes a source of irritation.

If a band is loose…   
If a band (the ring around the back molar) is loose, call our office to schedule an appointment to have the band re-cemented.

If any appliance gets bent…
If any appliance gets bent, or is not fitting well, it should not be worn until it can be properly adjusted in our office. Please call our office to schedule an appointment.

If you lose or break your appliance or retainer…
If you break your appliance or retainer, bring all the pieces with you for repair. If you lose or break your appliance or retainer, an impression will have to be taken to remake it. There may be a fee for the repair or replacement of the appliance or retainer. Please contact our office to schedule an appointment.

If your teeth are sore after your visit…
If your teeth are sore after a visit, take aspirin, Tylenol or ibuprofen unless you are allergic to them. If your teeth suddenly get sore, please call our office to schedule an appointment. It is unusual for teeth to get sore several weeks after your last office visit.

If food becomes stuck between your teeth…
If food becomes stuck between your teeth, use dental floss or a proxy brush to dislodge the food. It sometimes helps to tie a small knot in the middle of the floss and then slide the floss back and forth through the food mass.

If a permanent tooth feels loose…
If a permanent tooth feels loose, don't be alarmed. A little movement is normal when wearing braces.

Direct Injuries to the Mouth and Teeth

Following a direct injury to your mouth or teeth, you should be seen by your regular dentist as soon as possible. Please call our office immediately after seeing your family dentist. If orthodontic appliances are dislodged or displaced, we will need to repair or adjust them as soon as possible.

If you cut the inside of your mouth…
If you cut the inside of your mouth, gums or tongue, apply finger pressure to the bleeding site for several minutes. If the bleeding does not clot, call your family dentist.

If a permanent tooth is completely knocked out of the mouth…
If a permanent tooth is completely knocked out of the mouth, pick the tooth up by its top or crown, not by its root(s). If the tooth is clean, place the tooth back into its socket immediately. If the tooth is dirty, rinse the tooth by jiggling it in a cup of water or milk before placing it back into its socket. Do not scrub the tooth. Compare the appearance of the tooth to the neighboring teeth to make sure the tooth is not turned around backward. Hold the tooth in its socket and immediately go to your family dentist. If it is not possible to reinsert the tooth, place the tooth in a container of milk or cool water and take it to your dentist immediately. If the tooth remains outside of the mouth for over 30 minutes, it will seldom survive.

If you think that you have broken your jaw…
If you think that you have broken your jaw, immobilize the jaw by any means (handkerchief, necktie or towel). If swelling is present, apply cold compresses. Call your family dentist or go immediately to the hospital emergency. Have a relative bring any picture of your smile to the hospital to aid the surgeon in reestablishing your bite and smile.