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Handling Orthodontic Issues at Home

Published on December 06, 2022

Chorak Orthodontics

Even though you are careful, you may occasionally damage your braces or orthodontic appliance. While there are steps you can take to temporarily fix or alleviate discomfort and prevent additional damage, you should always notify our office if you have any issues or concerns.

At Chorak Orthodontics, we want our patients to be informed of problems that may occur, and understand how to solve them, at least temporarily, until it is possible to return to our office. With the tools and supplies listed below, you will be prepared to handle the most common orthodontic issues at home.

Your Orthodontic Emergency Tool Box:

  • Orthodontic Wax
  • Dental Floss
  • Tweezers
  • Q-tips
  • Salt
  • Interproximal Brush
  • Toothpicks
  • Non-prescription Pain Reliever
  • Topical Anesthetic


Below are some typical orthodontic issues and how you can solve them:

Discomfort - It’s normal to have some initial discomfort during orthodontic treatment as your teeth move. Rinsing your mouth with warm salt water and over-the-counter pain relievers, such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen, may alleviate this discomfort.  If the discomfort lasts longer than a few days, be sure to call our office.

Mouth Sores - Some patients are susceptible to episodes of mouth sores. While braces do not cause these sores, they may be exacerbated by an irritation from your braces. Mouth sores are not an emergency, but they can be very uncomfortable. Prompt relief may be achieved by applying a small amount of topical anesthetic (such as Ora-Gel) directly to the ulcerated surface using a cotton swab.

Irritation - Sometimes braces or wires can be irritating to your mouth, especially when eating. A small amount of orthodontic wax makes an excellent buffer between the metal bracket and your mouth. Simply pinch off a small piece of wax and roll it into a ball the size of a small pea. Flatten the ball and place it completely over the area of the bracket causing irritation.

Protruding Wire - Occasionally the end of a wire will work itself out of place and can irritate your mouth. Use a Q-tip or clean tweezer and try to push the wire so that it is flat against the tooth. If the wire cannot be moved into a comfortable position, cover it with wax.

There will be normal, day-to-day discomfort associated with wearing braces, if you have any questions about your orthodontic treatment, or if you think you may have a true orthodontic emergency, don’t hesitate to call our Fairwood or Mercer Island orthodontic office…we can help! 

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