If you take the time to check out your braces, and yes, it’s a good idea to check them every day for problems, you’ll see that they look kind of complicated. They really aren’t, but the truth is all of that hardware in your mouth has to work together to create your new smile. When you first get your braces, our orthodontist, Dr. Erik Curtis, will talk with you about what to eat, how to brush and floss, and how to live with your braces. After all, you and your braces are going to be together for a while! We want you to be careful with your braces, but let’s face it, life can get messy, accidents happen, you know the drill. If you do happen to have an orthodontic emergency in Coeur d'Alene or Post Falls, Idaho, the first thing you may do is panic. You shouldn’t but it’s normal. What you should do is call Curtis Orthodontics at 208.772.7272 and make an appointment to see us ASAP. In the meantime, here are some things to do if you have an issue.
Loose Brackets or Bands
Brackets or bands can come loose. Brackets are held in place by a material called composite resin. That’s not really important, but what is important is that brackets and bands can come loose if you eat something tough, sticky or hard. If you discover a problem, call us for an appointment.
When you first get your braces, Dr. Curtis will give you some great wax. DO NOT LOSE THIS. Okay, if you lose it, we’ll give you more, but try to keep an eye on it. You can put this wax over a loose bracket which can keep it from bothering you. If a band falls off, save it and bring it in to the office.
Poking Wires or Wire Irritations
Once in a while a wire comes loose. We’ll give you a list of dos and don’ts and we want you to be careful when you eat, not chew gum or ice, and to take care of your braces. But sometimes you may break a wire, or one may come loose. It happens, and it isn’t the end of the world, but those wires are important, so we’ll need to see you to fix the problem. And the wire probably going to be uncomfortable. But until you can come in, you can do a few things to make life bearable.
- Try putting some of the wax over the wire which will keep it from poking your gums or cheeks
- You can also try to gently (“gently” is the key word here) push the wire back into place with a pencil eraser or cotton swab.
- You may want to try cutting the wire. Call our office before you try it! It may seem like the perfect fix, but those wires are easy to swallow. Dr. Curtis may want you to wait for your appointment.
You’re brushing your teeth. You look in the mirror and … a separator is gone! It’s okay, it happens now and then. Usually, it just means it’s time to get a new band, so call us to set up an appointment
Discomfort With Braces and Orthodontic Treatments
Your teeth hurt, your jaw is tender, and your lips and cheeks just can’t take it anymore! We get it, we really do. The first few days with braces can be tough and all of that hardware takes a little getting used to. Relax, you’ve got this. Believe it or not, you will be over it before you know it, even if it doesn’t seem that way right now. Since you will be coming in to see Dr. Curtis every so often for adjustments, your mouth may not feel so hot after those visits. Here’s what to do:
- Try taking ibuprofen or acetaminophen to help with the pain.
- Remember that wax? You can place it on your new braces to keep them from rubbing against your lips and cheeks.
- Got water? Got salt? Mix a little salt in with warm water and gently rinse your mouth. You’ll be surprised at how much that helps.
- A little heat goes a long way. Hold a warm washcloth or heating pad against your jaw.
- Check your menu. Soft foods put less stress on your teeth, and that means less pain for you. And it’s okay to treat yourself with a little ice cream. It’s soft, it’s cool, and besides, it’s always time for ice cream.
If the pain still won’t go away, call us and we’ll get you in to check things out.