Sore oral tissues
When braces have been recently placed, or sometimes when the patient has a cold or virus, the gums and lips can feel irritated from their contact with the brackets and wires. Several remedies can significantly improve comfort for the patient:
- apply lip balm
- rinse with salt water
- drink more water to maintain hydration of tissues
- use wax provided at banding time to cover rough spots
- use low doses of Tylenol or Advil to reduce irritation in tissues.
As the teeth come together during treatment, reducing excess spaces, the extra wire sometimes pokes out of the last bracket, causing irritation to the gums. A long wire is quickly trimmed by our office staff. Please call ahead so we know you are coming.
A poking wire can be caused by shifting of the arch wire within the slots of the brackets. If the wire feels long on one end, but short on the other, it is sometime possible to grab the wire with a tweezer and slightly shift it away from the poking side to re-center it. Please be gentle with wires and brackets so as not to cause damage.
Sometimes we use a wire tie on a specific bracket to increase its hold on the arch wire. If such a ‘twist tie’ wire is poking into the patient’s lip the eraser end of a pencil can be used to push the wire end into a more flush position. Wax can also be used to cover the pokey end.
Occasionally a bracket gets knocked off of the surface of the tooth. It usually remains attached to the arch wire and flips around in its space. The discomfort caused by having a bracket off us usually minimal. If it feels rough against the lip wax can be used to cover the edges. This kind of repair (re-bond) must be done as soon as possible and during a clinical day. Call our office and we will fit you into our schedule.
Wire out of slot
Sometimes the arch wire comes out of the slot of the last bracket. This happens especially earlier in treatment when soft, pliable arch wires are being used. It is sometimes possible for the patient (or parent) to reinsert the wire end into the slot of the bracket, thereby saving a trip to the office. If attempting this, use a pair of tweezers or small pliers to grasp the wire and reinsert it into the bracket. Keep in mind that the thin wires are temperature sensitive. The wire will be softer, more pliable at cooler temperatures and stiffer when warmer. (Ice cream with chunks can wreak havoc on these wires)