When you get your spacers placed or 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 5 mL of salt in 240 mL of warm water, and rinse your mouth vigorously. If the tenderness is more severe, take advil or tylenol or whatever you would normally take for a headache or similar pain. The lips, cheeks and tongue may also become irritated for one to two weeks as they become accustomed to the surface of the braces. You can put wax on the braces to lessen this discomfort. We'll show you how!
Loosening of Teeth
This is to be expected throughout treatment. Don't worry! It's normal. Teeth must loosen first so they can be moved. The teeth will again become rigidly fixed in their new corrected positions. Please let us know if your teeth become unusually loose.
Loose Wire or Band
Don't be alarmed if a wire or band comes loose. This happens occasionally. If a wire protrudes and is irritating, use a blunt instrument (back of spoon or the eraser end of a pencil) and carefully, gently push the irritating wire under the archwire. Simply get it out of the way. If irritation to the lips or mouth continues, place wax or wet cotton on the wire to reduce the annoyance. Call our office as soon as possible for an appointment to check and repair the appliances. If any piece comes off, save it and bring it with you to the office.
Care of Appliances
To successfully complete the treatment plan, the patient must work together with the orthodontist. The teeth and jaws can only move toward their corrected positions if the patient consistently wears the rubber bands, headgear or other appliances as prescribed. Damaged appliances lengthen the treatment time.
It's more important than ever to brush and floss regularly when you have braces, so the teeth and gums are healthy after orthodontic treatment. Patients who do not keep their teeth clean may require more frequent visits to the dentist for a professional cleaning. Adults who have a history of gum disease should also see a Periodontist during orthodontic treatment. Plaque left on the teeth for a length of time can lead to hypocalcification (white marks on the teeth) which are permanent.
If you play sports, it's important that you consult us for special precautions. A protective mouthguard is advised for playing contact sports. In case of any accident involving the face, check your mouth and the appliances immediately. If teeth are loosened or the appliances damaged, phone at once for an appointment. In the meantime, treat your discomfort as you would treat any general soreness.
If you play a musical instrument, it may take a little getting used to with your new braces. However, after several days you will be playing as good (or bad) as you were before.