First Aid for Braces & Retainers
- If the main wire has come out of the brace or tube on a back molar tooth, attempt to reinsert the wire with a pair of needle nosed pliers or tweezers. If the wire is not sticking you, place a piece of wax over the area. If the wire is sticking you and wax does not help, the wire can be cut with a small wire cutter or nail clipper close to the back of the last brace. This is a last resort if professional help is unavailable.
- If a brace comes loose from a tooth, it usually remains connected to the main wire and is not cause for an emergency visit. Tweezers can be used to reposition the brace if it flips around the wire and becomes a source of irritation. Call our office at your earliest convenience. It may be necessary to schedule a separate visit to repair the loose brace(s), since repairs of this nature usually take additional time.
- If your teeth become sore after a visit, we generally recommend that you take an analgesic such as acetaminophen (e.g., Tylenol) or ibuprofen (e.g., Advil, Motrin). This, of course, is the protocol only if there are no known allergies to these medications. Rinsing with Peroxyl or a cup of warm water and teaspoon of salt can also be soothing.
- If a part of your braces or your retainer breaks, save the piece and call to set up a repair visit.
- If you notice some small spaces developing between your teeth while you have braces on, don’t panic! This is usually normal and expected as teeth move into different positions, particularly in the early stages of treatment. They will be closed eventually.
- If a rubber separator falls out, you can try to replace it yourself by threading a couple pieces of floss through it and then pulling it under and up between the teeth. Then remove the floss.
- If you experience any bleeding when brushing or flossing, that usually means there is a local area of infection. Continue to keep the area clean by brushing, flossing and rinsing with Listerine. If a particular area is painful or you notice a bump of any sort, you should address this to your orthodontist as soon as possible.
- If food becomes stuck between your teeth, use dental floss or a proxy brush to dislodge the food.