Don’t panic. True orthodontic emergencies are very rare. If you’re concerned about your braces, call our office. Dr. Zahrowski has an emergency number listed on our phone service for after hours concerns.
Tips to temporarily solve problems at home.
General Tooth Soreness
It’s common for teeth to be sore 2-3 days after an orthodontic adjustment. Taking Acetaminophen or Ibuprofen (as long as you aren’t allergic to these medications) for a few days will usually help.
Chewing soft sugarless gum may help to lessen tooth soreness.
Should your teeth be sore longer than 4 days or keep you awake at night, give our office a call.
General Cheek or Lip Soreness
It’s common for your cheeks or lips to be irritated temporarily after the initial brace placement. Cheeks and lips usually are able to get used to the braces in 1-2 weeks.
In the mean time, here are a few suggestions:
Salt Water – Dissolve 1 teaspoon of salt in 8 ounces of warm water and rinse your mouth vigorously 2-3 times daily.
Wax – Dry the brace with a paper towel, push a pea-sized piece of wax onto the brace that’s hitting the sore area. Only use the wax for a few days, until the tissue feels better. We want the tissue to get used to the brace, not the wax.
Orabase – Dry the tissue gently and dab a small amount of the paste directly on the sore spot in your mouth with your finger.
General Tongue Soreness
We try not to place braces where the tongue will find them, however sometimes it’s necessary to place them on the back side of the teeth, close to the tongue. One of the tongue’s jobs is to find anything new within the mouth and it’s common for the tongue to rub against these orthodontic appliances temporarily. Salt water rinses and soft foods will usually help soothe the tongue until it finds a new position away from the orthodontic appliances.
Biting the Cheek, Lip, or Tongue
Cheeks, lips, and tongue have the job to continually push food back to the teeth, so the food can be chewed into smaller pieces and the nutrients within the food can be digested properly. But sometimes the cheeks, lips or tongue aren’t fast enough to get out of the way of the rapidly closing teeth. This can happen when hard or tough foods are chewed quickly. Chewing softer foods more slowly and salt water rinses for a few days will help ease minor tissue swelling and will help prevent it from occurring again.