A frequent concern is a couple of days of discomfort after the braces have been bonded on teeth. This tends to make eating a bit more difficult. One suggestion is to make sure soft foods are available. Another simple step is to use non-prescription pain relievers such as Tylenol or Advil.
Irritation of lips and cheeks
Irritation of lips and cheeks from braces rubbing tends to occur when the braces are first placed.
Relief Wax is available and can provide comfort while you get used to your braces.
To apply the wax, pinch off a small piece and roll it into a ball the size of a pea.
After the wax is squeezed into a small disc and then pushed onto the brace where the irritation is occurring.
Finally, the wax is pushed to cover the top and the bottom of the brace (Fig. 5). Typically, the wax is used when eating and it is not unusual for the wax to fall of and be eaten. There should be no concerns about eating the wax as no medications are present.
Ligatures come off the brace while eating sticky foods
Small round donut shaped elastic ligatures are used to keep the wire and brace together (in the following image, they are light blue). If sticky foods are eaten, they can partially or completely come off the brace.
Using small tweezers, they can be put back around the brace
Brace is knocked during sport or while eating a hard food
Braces are attached to teeth with a special adhesive and tend to sit in the middle of your teeth.
If a brace is knocked during sport or while eating a hard food, the attachment to the tooth will fail. This is often first noticed when brushing and the brace appears off of center on the tooth
A visit to the orthodontic specialist is necessary to repair this type of problem. Occasionally, the brace is rotated on the wire and sticks out into the lip.
Again tweezers may be used to correct this problem. First slide the brace so that it is in between two teeth. Then push the brace around and back up against the tooth.
If a wire is protruding out the end of the last brace (Fig. 1) or if a thin wire is coming off the braces and irritating your lips and cheeks, a small key chain nail clipper can be helpful (Fig. 2).
Use the clipper to cut the wire.
It may be helpful to use a folded Kleenex to trap the piece of wire.
Storing a removable appliance or retainer
A removable appliance or retainer is only safe in two places: in your mouth or in the retainer case provided by your orthodontist. Never place them in a purse (Fig. 1), pocket (Fig. 2) or anywhere else where they can be damaged (Fig. 3).
Removing an appliance or retainer when eating out
When eating out (Fig. 1) it is recommended that you remove your retainer. All too often the retainer case is not available. Please, do not wrap the retainer in a tissue or napkin (Fig. 2). This eventually results in the retainer being discarded (Fig. 3).
When removing your headgear, always disconnect the strap prior to removing the metal facebow. Failure to disconnect the strap could lead to serious injury