Braces solve many orthodontic problems such as an overbite, misaligned teeth, overcrowding, gaps between the teeth and other problems with the jaw. There are several different types of braces that are used by orthodontists to solve these problems, but what does a person do when they have problems with braces? During the time that you wear braces, there are orthodontic emergencies that may occur, and our specialists will give you help and advice on how to solve these problems by yourself, or arrange an appointment so that we can fix it.
Some of the most common problems with braces are:
- Loose or broken braces – When you eat sticky or hard foods or play with your braces with your finger or a pen, they can break or become loose. It may be alright to wait until your next appointment to have the braces repaired, but if it is causing discomfort, it may be better to have it fixed immediately. If a band becomes loose, it may need to be cemented. If this happens, you may need an emergency appointment.
- The arch wire is poking the cheeks or gums – When your teeth start to move into the correct position, the end of an arch wire may stick out at the back of the molar tubes and start irritating the cheek. You can cover the tip of the wire with wax, cotton or a pencil eraser so that it does not irritate your cheek. If this does not help, you can snip off the end of the wire with sterilized nail clippers.
- Tooth pain – As your teeth move, they may start to ache and become sore and sensitive to the touch. This usually happens within the first 24 to 72 hours after an adjustment. It can make eating regular food difficult, so we recommend that you eat a soft diet until the pain subsides and take an over-the-counter painkiller if necessary.
- Sores inside the mouth – When you first get braces, you may experience sores or ulcerations inside your mouth. This may happen because the braces are new and your mouth is not used to them, but over time, your mouth will get tougher and not develop sores. You can put a small amount of wax over the part of the brace that is causing the irritation. The ulceration should go away within a week. If it does not, we recommend that you schedule an appointment to have the problem checked by our specialist.
- Wires become loose – Flexible wires may slip out of the bracket. This is usually caused by eating hard food. You may be able to put the wire back into the slot by using sterilized tweezers. Otherwise, you will need an appointment to have the wire put back in the proper position.
- Problems with ties – The ties are used to connect the brackets and arch wires. Ties may become loose from brushing or eating. Problems with ties usually need to be fixed by our specialist.
- Accidents and sporting injuries – If braces are damaged because of an accident while playing sports or due to a car accident or trip-and-fall, immediate care may be needed by one of our specialists.
If you are having problems with braces, or if you are interested in starting orthodontic treatment and want to know more about what to expect, schedule a consultation at the office of Brodie Bowman, DMD in Fort Walton Beach or Niceville. Contact us today to book your appointment.