Dealing with Braces-Associated Discomfort

For people wearing braces, the greatest discomfort comes when wires or brackets become loose or break. Braces hazardously position wearers to risks of gum disease, gingivitis, mouth sores, and many other complications if not taken care of correctly. With broken wires and loose brackets, these risks are increased and should your braces happen to break or loosen, you need to correct the situation immediately. Seeking an orthodontist's assistance is the surest and recommended way to solve these problems. To deal with the immediate discomfort before getting your orthodontist's help, however, try the following hints.

Loose brackets

Loose brackets can be temporarily reattached using orthodontic wax. You can also use the wax to act as cushioning between your gums and the uncomfortable brackets. Your dentist should give you this wax at your first appointment when you got the braces. Orthodontic wax also has anti-bacterial components that help kill bacteria that may grow in your mouth.

Broken or protruding wire

Broken wires or protruding wire pieces may occur from time to time with braces. These can be both uncomfortable and hazardous to your oral health. For some people, these have caused oral sores that led to further dental problems.  You can use the rubber end of a pencil or something similarly soft to push the protruding wire to a less disturbing position. You should not try to cut the wire yourself because you may injure yourself or even accidentally swallow the wire. Once again, orthodontic wax can come to your help in such a situation.  You can apply a small amount of wax on the protruding end of the wire to soften it. If you had developed sores courtesy of the poking wire, you could repeatedly rinse your mouth with warm salty water or an oral antiseptic rinse. Remember that these are only temporary discomfort alleviation tips; you should try to have your orthodontist fix this permanently and quickly.

Loose bands and spacers

Finally, a common occurrence with braces is the loosening of bands and spacers with time. When your bands become loose, it is okay to remove the bands and keep them and schedule an appointment immediately. The bands can be replaced or re-cemented by your orthodontist. If your spacers become loose, you should also seek repositioning or replacement immediately.  Ultimately, any sores, complications and pain associated with braces should be addressed quickly and not left to progress further. Since braces and retainers repeatedly brush against the inside of your mouth, you should always have a prescribed ointment or mouth rinse readily available.