Orthodontic Pain? Here’s what to do…
You might be surprised to learn that you can solve many orthodontic problems yourself temporarily until you can see your orthodontist. After alleviating your discomfort, it is very important that you still call our office as soon as possible to schedule a time to repair the problem. Allowing your appliance to remain damaged for an extended period of time may result in disruptions in your treatment plan.
When you get your braces on, you may feel general soreness in your mouth, and your teeth may be tender to biting pressures for three to five days. This can be relieved by rinsing your mouth with a warm salt-water mouthwash. Dissolve one teaspoonful of salt in eight ounces of warm water and then rinse your mouth vigorously. If the tenderness is severe, take acetaminophen or whatever you normally take for a headache or similar pain. You may also want to start with soft foods for the first few days, such as soup, pasta, smoothie, yogurt, or eggs.
Your lips, cheeks, and tongue may also become sore and irritated for one to two weeks as they toughen and become accustomed to the surface of the braces. You can put wax on the braces to lessen this. We’ll show you how!
If any part of your appliance is poking you, place wax on the part and let your orthodontist know at your next appointment.
If you notice that one of your brackets or bands has become loose and is still attached to the wire, you should leave it in place and put wax on it to provide stability. If the wire comes out entirely, wrap the bracket with a tissue.
Using a pair of tweezers, try to put your wire back into place and add wax for stability. If doing this and using wax doesn’t help, as a last resort, use a small fingernail clipper to clip the wire behind the last tooth to which it is securely fastened. If your discomfort continues, place wax on it.
Using a pencil eraser, push the poking wire down or into its original position until it is no longer irritating the surrounding tissue. Place wax on it to alleviate the discomfort.
Wax is the orthodontic patient’s best friend! Always make sure you have wax with you, and if you’ve run out, ask for more at your next appointment.
True orthodontic emergencies are rare, but when they occur, we are available for you. As a general rule, you should call our office when you experience severe pain or when you have a painful appliance problem you can’t take care of yourself. We will be happy to schedule an appointment for you to take care of whatever issue you may be experiencing.