How To Care For Your Orthodontic Appliances

Wearing braces means that you can look forward to a restored smile and an improved bite. It also means that you will have spacers, bands, wires, and brackets inside your mouth for months, or maybe even years. Because of this, you will need to maintain a meticulous regimen of oral care to remove food from under, between, and around your orthodontic apparatus. In addition to visiting your orthodontist for regular checkups and tightening appointments, consider the following tips on caring for your orthodontic appliances so your mouth stays healthy during your braces treatment.

Caring For Broken Wires

Wires connect the brackets together so that your teeth gradually shift into their proper positions. Wires can break as a result of pressure and from chewing. If one of your wires breaks and is protruding into the soft tissues of your mouth, reposition it so that it is not sticking into your gums, lips, or tongue by using a clean pencil eraser. Never attempt to cut a broken wire because you may injure yourself or even swallow the small piece.

If you sustain an abrasion as a result of a poking wire, rinse your mouth with a salt water solution. To make a salt water rinse, combine a small pinch of salt with a cup of warm water and stir until the salt is dissolved. Swish the solution around your mouth for a few seconds and then spit it out.

If you need further relief, use an over-the-counter anesthetic gel, also called numbing gel. These gels are considered safe and effective and are the same agents that are used to soothe a teething baby's irritated gums. If you are unable to move the broken wire out of the way, or if your wire pokes through your skin, see your orthodontist as soon as possible.

Loose Spacers, Bands, And Brackets

In addition to wire mishaps, your spaces, bands, and brackets can loosen. If one of your spacers becomes loose or falls out of position, see your orthodontist to determine if it needs to be repositioned or replaced. Also, if one of your bands comes loose, try not to disturb it so that it does not fall off, and then see your orthodontist.

If the band does fall off, bring it with you to your next appointment so that your dentist can reattach it with resin. If you have a loose bracket, orthodontic wax can hold it in place temporarily until you see your dentist. You can also use the wax for extra protection and padding by placing it between the loose bracket and soft tissues inside your mouth so that the bracket does not cause an oral injury.

If you wear braces, see your orthodontist regularly for examinations and adjustments, and consider the above interventions. Doing so will help ensure that your orthodontic treatment provides you with the best smile possible. Contact a local orthodontist office to learn more.