Braces take some getting used to, but the results are generally well worth the temporary discomfort. Sometimes, though, discomfort can become pain if one of the wires or brackets break. This is because they can poke and irritate the inside of your mouth. While it's important to get in to the orthodontist for a repair as soon as possible to ensure the braces work properly, you may be stuck dealing with a break outside of office hours. The following tips can help you manage the issue until you can get in to see the orthodontist.
Tip #1: Locate the Damage
The damage is most likely going to be a broken wire, although occasionally a bracket may come loose. Using a dental mirror and wall mirror, look for a bent bracket or a wiring sticking out. Once you locate it, gently bend it back into place so it is flush against the tooth. You don't want to cut or break off a bracket or wire, since this can compromise the entire set of braces. By bending it back, everything is still in tact so your orthodontist can make a repair.
Tip #2: Get Some Dental Wax
Dental wax is a must-have tool for braces wearers, since it can smooth over any rough spot. Break off a small piece of wax and roll it in your fingers until it becomes malleable. Cover the broken ends or rough edges with the wax, pressing it firmly against your teeth. You can even use a small wad of wax to hold a loose bracket in place until you can get in to the doctor.
Tip #3: Keep It Clean
You will need to keep your mouth clean, especially if it is torn up from the broken wires. Rinse with salt water to prevent infection. You should also still continue with your regular dental care routines, although you may not be able to brush or floss around the broken section of the braces thoroughly. Using a mouthwash can help prevent infection, too.
Tip #4: Switch to Soft Foods
While waiting for your appointment, avoid any hard or crunchy foods. Soups, pasta, and cooked vegetables are the best options. Avoid chewing on the side of the mouth where the damage is so you don't make it worse. After eating, examine the area and replace the wax if needed. Even after the braces are fixed, it's still a good idea to avoid exceptionally crunchy or hard foods since these are often the cause of broken or loose wires or brackets.
Make sure you get in to see your orthodontist as soon as possible to have your orthodontics fixed!