OK...so you're home from your orthodontic adjustment appointment. Your next appointment is scheduled for six weeks from now. Your mouth is sore, you feel a wire poking your cheek, your teeth are tender. You have an emergency and need these painful issues resolved right now!
Did you know that many things we consider an emergency are really things that are simply causing us temporary discomfort and can be resolved at home? It's true. Most orthodontic concerns, like, poking wires and mouth soreness can be fixed without scheduling an emergency appointment.
Poking Wire - Sometimes a poking wire can be safely turned down so that it no longer causes you discomfort. Try to tuck the wire back in and out of the way with the blunt end of a toothbrush, pencil eraser or Q-Tip. Orthodontic wax can always be used to cover any archwires that might be sticking out. Also...nail clippers can be used to clip a broken archwire that may be poking out if wax doesn't ease you comfort.
Loose Wire - Use Tweezers to re-insert archwires that have slipped out of the molar bracket. Place wax over it if there is any remaining discomfort.
Soreness - Warm salt-water rinses are helpful in relieving soreness. You may also take an over-the-counter pain reliever such as Tylenol or Advil as you would for a headache or similar discomfort. Carefully chewing on a half piece of sugarless chewing gum will help alleviate the pain and help your mouth feel "back to normal" much more quickly.
Even though you are careful, you may occasionally damage your appliances. We want our patients to be informed of problems that may occur, and understand how to solve them, at least temporarily, until it is possible to return to our office.
Please Remember: If you are involved in contact sports, a regular mouth guard can be fitted over your braces for added protection.