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General Discomfort

It is completely normal to experience a little discomfort for a day or two after your braces are put in or adjusted at future appointments.

  • Eating soft foods for a couple of days may help. Soups, stew, and macaroni and cheese are good choices. Refer to your Yes-Yes- list in your Sanford Orthodontic Oral Hygiene Kit.
  • Use of a warm wash cloth or heating pad may reduce the soreness in your jaws. 
  • Warm salt water rinses after meals can aide in healing any irritations in the mouth along with wax provided in your Sanford Orthodontic Oral Hygiene Kit. Also, a little extra vitamin C in the diet aides the tissues as they adapt to the changes.
  • Over-the-counter pain relievers like acetaminophen or ibuprofen will also help alleviate minor discomfort.

Mouth Sores from Braces

Sores may appear inside the cheeks, on the lips, or even on the tongue. These sores are common and unfortunately may be uncomfortable.

  • Warm salt water rinses after meals can aide in healing any irritations in the mouth. Also, a little extra vitamin C in the diet aides the tissues as they adapt to the changes.
  • Applying a topical anesthetic like Orabase or Ora-Gel will help you feel better as well as help heal the sores. Use a cotton swab which helps reduce possible infection to the area.
  • If there is a particularly sharp edge causing a sore, please place wax, included in your Sanford Orthodontic Oral Hygiene Kit, over the sharp area as often as necessary to allow the sore to heal. Simply pinch off a small piece and roll it into a tiny ball. Flatten the ball and place it over the area of the braces that is causing the irritation.  

What to do if you have...

Loose Brackets

Brackets are generally bonded to the teeth with adhesive and serve as handles to hold the wire of the braces in place. 

  • If a bracket becomes loose or is missing, call our office at 908.722.5233 as soon as possible. A tooth can drift out of alignment if not addressed.
  • You may have a situation that requires cutting an archwire. If you need to cut a wire you can use a fingernail clipper or wire cutter that has been sanitized with alcohol. Please call our office at 908.722.5233 to reach out to Dr. Sanford for guidance as to when or how to clip a wire or to schedule an appointment.

Elastics Color Bands that have Come Off

The rubber band is a tiny ligature that is stretched around the bracket to hold the wire.

  • For Phase 1 treatment - This elastic band holds the archwire in the bracket. If a colored elastic band comes off this needs to be replaced. A tooth can drift if not secured to the archiwre. This is an easy repair and only takes a few minutes to accomplish. Please call our office at 908.722.5233 to schedule an appointment.
  • For Phase 2 or Full-Banded treatment - The brackets we use are a self-ligating bracket, which means there is a clip on the bracket that engages the archwire. The colored elastics bands are for show only and do not require an appointment if they should happen to come off.
  • Power Chains – These are used for closing spaces. If it should come off a bracket call our office first at 908.722.5233. We will let you know whether it requires an appointment

Wire Irritations...

  • The best way to alleviate this discomfort is to gently reposition the wire downward and out of the way by using the end of a pencil eraser. You may also want to place a small piece of dental wax, included in your Sanford Orthodontic Oral Hygiene Kit, to cover over any rough. Simply pinch off a small piece and roll it into a tiny ball. Flatten the ball and place it over the area of the braces that is causing the irritation. Please call our office at 908.722.5233 to schedule an appointment to have archwire issues addressed.
  • In an extremely bothersome situation, and as a last resort, if the wire is still causing pain or is completely loose you may want to clip the wire using a sanitized nail clipper or wire cutter. If the end of the clipped wire is still sharp, place a small piece of dental wax to cover it. Simply pinch off a small piece and roll it into a tiny ball. Flatten the ball and place it over the area of the braces that is causing the irritation. Please call our office at 908.722.5233 to reach out to Dr. Sanford for guidance as to when or how to clip a wire or to schedule an appointment to have archwire issue addressed.

Lost Separators...

It is not uncommon for a separator to fall out during treatment. Do not worry about losing a separator, but please call our office at 908.722.5233 to see if it needs to be replaced and an appointment will be scheduled for you. This a quick and easy appointment.

Even if you have successfully relieved the discomfort associated with your concern, you should contact Sanford Orthodontics promptly at 908.722.5233 to schedule a repair visit and ensure your treatment is proceeding as expected.

In Case of EMERGENCY

  • An “emergency” is pain, bleeding, or trauma.
  • Call us immediately at 908.722.5233, even if you have a regular appointment scheduled in the near future. You will be instructed on how to get in touch with Dr. Sanford to discuss the situation.
  • Dr. Robert Sanford and our experienced team will help you resolve any concerns as quickly as possible.

After-hours appointments are for patients experiencing
pain, bleeding, or trauma to the mouth.

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