First Aid for Braces
Poking Wires

If the main wire has come out of the tube on the back molar tooth, you may attempt to reinsert the wire with a pair of needle nosed pliers or tweezers. If you are having a difficult time and the wire is not sticking you, place a piece of wax or sugarless gum 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 fingernail clipper close to the back of the last brace.

Loose Brackets

If a bracket comes off it will remain connected to the main wire by either the sliding door or clip (in the case of self-ligating brackets) or a little rubber ring. You may use a pair of tweezers to reposition the brace if it flips around the wire and becomes a source of irritation. Call your orthodontist's office to inform them of your situation.

If a bracket breaks off, save the bracket and call your orthodontist to schedule a repair visit.

If you swallow any part of your braces, most of the time it will pass. Eat a high fiber diet such as rolls, muffins and cereal for a few days. However, if difficulty breathing is experienced, you should seek immediate medical attention. X-rays will be taken to determine the position of the swallowed piece and your physicians will counsel you on your options concerning retrieval of the stray piece.

Broken Retainers
If a retainer cracks or is broken, bring all the pieces to your orthodontist for a professional repair.
Other Situations
If your teeth are sore after a monthly visit to your orthodontist, take aspirin, Tylenol or ibuprofen unless you are allergic to them. Rinsing your mouth with a teaspoon of salt dissolved in a glass of warm water can also be soothing. Placing a numbing agent on your gum such as Orabase - B can also help.

If food becomes stuck between your teeth, use dental floss or a proxy brush (the tufted brushes we give you when you get your braces on) to dislodge the food.

If you cut the inside of your cheek, gums or tongue, apply finger pressure to the bleeding site for several minutes. If the bleeding won't clot, call your orthodontist or primary care-family dentist.

If a permanent tooth is knocked out of your mouth completely, pick the tooth up by its top or crown, not by its root(s). Inspect the tooth. If the tooth is clean, place the tooth back into its socket immediately. If the tooth is dirty, rinse the tooth off by jiggling it in a cup off water or milk before placing it back in its socket. Do not scrub the tooth. Compare the appearance of the tooth to neighboring teeth to make sure the tooth is not turned around backward. Hold the tooth in its socket and immediately go to your primary care-family dentist. If it is not possible for you to reinsert the tooth in its socket, place the tooth in a container of milk or cool water and carry it to your dentist immediately. If the tooth remains outside of the mouth for over 30 minutes, it will seldom survive.


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