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.
If a bracket comes loose from the tooth, call our office for an appointment. While a tight bracket actually protects a tooth from decay, a loose bracket is extremely dangerous and decay can occur under it very rapidly. If the bracket is still attached to a wire, leave it in place and apply wax if there is discomfort. If the bracket comes completely out, place it in an envelope and call for an appointment.
When you have just started wearing braces, you may feel general soreness in your mouth, and teeth may be tender to biting pressures for 1 day to 1 week. This soreness can be soothed by rinsing your mouth with a warm salt-water rinse. Dissolve one teaspoonful of salt in 8 ounces of warm water, and rinse your mouth vigorously. Placing an over-the-counter topical anesthetic on the affected area may also help. This soothing aid can be found in your local pharmacy or grocery store.
If you have a traumatic injury resulting in cuts to your lips or gums or if you have a loose tooth, please contact our office immediately. If you have broken any part of a tooth, you will need to contact your family dentist. If you suspect that your jaw has been injured or notice that your teeth have been moved by the accident, you may also need to be seen by an oral surgeon.
Infection or Swelling
If you have an infected tooth or any type of swelling in the facial region it is best to contact your family dentist first. Remember that he or she is trained to handle a range of dental problems and can most likely offer the necessary diagnostic tools, anesthetics and treatments you may need. After the problem is resolved, please call our office so we may determine if any changes in orthodontic treatment are necessary.
If you are involved in contact sports, a regular mouth guard can be fitted over your braces for added protection.