Some minor problems can occur during orthodontic treatment ranging from sore teeth and swollen gums to bent wires and broken brackets. You can avoid most broken brackets and bent wires by following the prescribed care for braces and avoiding certain foods. For more information on this, check out our “Caring for Braces” section.
But even with the toughest braces and proper care, minor adjustments may need to be made. In some cases you will be able to fix the problem, but in many cases, you will need to contact your orthodontist immediately to schedule an emergency appointment. Here are a few common problems that could occur during the course of treatment:
“Poker” – When a loose wire pokes the inside of the teeth or cheek, cover the wire with soft wax or cotton. Rinsing with warm salt water twice a day will help ease the discomfort. Be sure to call your orthodontist for a special appointment.
Sore teeth – After most adjustment visits to the orthodontist, your child will naturally experience sore teeth as the teeth try to gradually move into place. However, aspirin or other pain relievers should remedy the soreness in 3-5 days. Try some of our “Soothing Recipes” during this time.
Loose bands or brackets – Sometimes bands or brackets can become loose – usually as a result of eating hard or sticky foods. These will need to be prepared by your orthodontist, so call right away for a special appointment.
Lost separator – Call your orthodontist and explain which separator popped out, as an appointment may not be necessary if adequate space exists between teeth.
Lost retainer – Your retainer holds your teeth in place until the gums and roots that move a little slower move into place. Not wearing your retainer can cause your treatment to relapse, so contact your orthodontist immediately when you lose a retainer so that another can be fitted for you.
Other Dental Emergencies:
If some other type of dental emergency occurs such as a laceration, puncture wound, a broken or chipped tooth, a tooth knocked out or out of place, contact your family dentist or orthodontist as soon as possible – preferably within the first 30 minutes. Do not try to force back displaced teeth or attempt to place a tooth back in its socket as it could cause further damage.