The large majority of our patients make it through treatment with only minor inconveniences. Every now and again though, something can go awry and cause irritation or issue.
Here is Yvette’s guide to navigating orthodontic issues and emergencies:
Lip and cheek irritation
Initially, certain parts of the braces or orthodontic appliances may cause irritation to the lips and cheeks causing ulcers. This will subside as the body becomes used to the braces after a week or two. This can be easily addressed by applying wax to the appliance causing irritation. In conjunction with warm salty mouth rinses the area should heal within a week.
Patients will experience a continuous light pressure during treatment. It is possible for some teeth to become sensitive for a couple of days following a visit. This is normal. This will usually subside within 3-4 days and any pain can be managed with regular analgesics.
Broken and loose appliances
Brackets, wires and bands may become loose during treatment. If this occurs, please contact us immediately and we will organise to see you as soon as possible. However, if something happens to occur on a weekend, you can attempt to gently remove anything that is causing direct discomfort and we will endeavour to see you as soon as possible.
With all that said, prevention is the best cure so avoid hard or sticky foods to minimize breakages during treatment.
Long wire or shifted wire
As the teeth move around and align during the initial phase of treatment it is not uncommon for the excess wire to protrude from the back teeth. This can also occur later in treatment if we are closing spaces. Depending on the amount of wire, this feeling can range from unnoticeable to quite irritating. Orthodontic wax can be used as a temporary measure, but we will need to see you for a more permanent solution.
Lost mods, power chains and separators
If any of the elastic components come adrift and your appointment is within seven days, there is no urgency to make a special trip in to see us. If however your next visit is more than a week away, we would prefer you call to come in and see us.
Loose Forsus spring
The Forsus rod can disengage from the spring on wide opening or yawning. If you feel comfortable doing so, you can try to reengage the rod by placing it back in the spring. If that is unsuccessful or you don’t feel comfortable doing that, do not hesitate to call and book an appointment.
Broken or lost retainers
If you lose or break your retainer, please contact us to make an appointment as soon as possible. Teeth retain the capacity to move throughout your lifetime, so the sooner we can see you the less likely they are to have moved.
Written by Yvette Ding