First Aid for Braces or Retainers

Protruding Wires

If a wire is poking you, first try to bend it with a spoon or a pencil eraser. If you are unsuccessful, place a small piece of wax or wet cotton over it to buffer it. You may also try to snip the wire with nail clippers or wire cutters.

Loose Brackets

If a bracket, or brace, is loose and still attached to the archwire, leave it in place. If it flips around the wire and is uncomfortable, simply flip it back around so it is facing the normal direction. If it remains uncomfortable, cover with wax and call for an appointment.

Loose Bands

If a band (metal circle around the back teeth) is loose and is still attached to the archwire, leave it in place. Do not attempt to connect elastics to a loose band. Discontinue wearing elastics until the band is recemented.

Brace Color

If a color comes off of the brace, do not be concerned. We will replace it at your next appointment.

Loose Arch Wire

If the arch wire comes out of a tube in the back, try to place the wire back into the tube with tweezers. Place wax if uncomfortable and call for an appointment.

Sore Teeth After a Visit

If your teeth are sore after an orthodontic visit, take acetaminophen (Tylenol) or ibuprofen (Advil) as normally recommended. Another tip is to rinse you mouth with really warm water with a little bit of salt dissolved in it. Plan soft foods for meals until the discomfort goes away -- which is usually 2-4 days. If the discomfort gets progressively worse or remains the same after 4 days, call us!

Spaces In Between Teeth

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.

Rubber Spacers Falling Out

If a rubber spacer falls out, determine how it fell out. If it came out because you were playing with it or because you were eating something sticky (gum, etc.), call the office to see if we recommend replacing it. If it simply falls out on its own, don't worry about it!

Bleeding While Brushing

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 Dr. O'Hea as soon as possible.

Retainer Breaking

If a retainer breaks, do not try to repair it yourself. Discontinue wearing the retainer and call to have us repair it.

In Case Of An Emergency

Should you need to get in touch with Dr. O'Hea for an emergercy, call the office number (908-997-0333) and follow the prompt to be connected to the answering service.

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