How to Take Care of Common Problems with Braces
Find out what to do with orthodontic issues such as pain, sore teeth, loose braces, broken bands, protruding wires, or other problems with your braces.
Many of these issues are common, can be addressed at home by you, and don’t require an emergency visit.
- If you have a pokey wire that is irritating your mouth, cover it with wax or tuck it under the arch wire with a pencil eraser or Q-tip.
- A loose band or bracket can usually be left in place until you can be seen in our office. Call our office during patient hours when you notice a loose band or bracket and we will schedule you to reattach the loose appliance.
- A broken or poking archwire can sometimes be slid back around by grasping the wire at the midline and gently pulling it to one side. Call our office, during patient hours, if you do not feel the problem has been resolved properly.
How to Close the ‘Door’ of a Damon Bracket
Use your finger to gently push the door towards your gum line so that it covers the wire.
How to Replace a Lost Spacer
Separators or spacers are used frequently when you first get braces. They are tiny elastic rings that are placed in between two teeth in order to create space for placing bands around some of the teeth. If a separator comes out within one to two days before your next appointment, there usually will still be enough space to place the band. If it is more than a day or two before your next appointment, you can try to replace the spacer yourself. This video will introduce you to separators and teach you how to replace a spacer if it falls out.
Direct Injuries to the Mouth and Teeth
Following a direct injury to your mouth or teeth, whether undergoing orthodontic care or not, immediately ice the injured area and you should contact your regular dentist as soon as possible. Usually, an x-ray of the involved tooth or teeth is needed to determine the extent of the injury. If a tooth has been displaced, knocked out, or fractured, it is best to contact your family dentist first, since we may not have the necessary materials or anesthesia required to treat these injuries. If the appliances are dislodged or displaced, we will need to replace or adjust the appliances as soon as possible, after you have seen your general dentist, depending upon the comfort level of the patient.
After Office Hours
If an orthodontic emergency arises where the patient is in pain after hours, please call our office at (415) 878-0240. Information is available regarding who to contact for further assistance.