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Helpful Hints

A Bracket is Knocked Off
If the bracket is off center and moves along the wire, the adhesive has likely failed.  Please call
Dr. Westfallen’s office at 847-823-5010, to determine the course of action.

If the loose bracket has rotated on the wire and is sticking out, attempt to turn it back into its normal position. Call Dr. Westfallen’s office to schedule an appointment to have it reattached.  You may wish to put orthodontic wax around the area to minimize the movement of the loose brace.  If you are in pain, please call Dr. Westfallen’s office and inform them.

The Archwire is Poking
If the end of an orthodontic archwire is poking in the back of the mouth, attempt to put wax over the area to protect the cheek.  Please call Dr. Westfallen’s office to schedule an appointment and have that archwire clipped. 

Loose Brackets, Wires or Bands
If the braces have come loose in any way, please call Dr. Westfallen’s office to determine appropriate next steps.  Save any pieces of your braces that break off and bring them with you to your next appointment.

Irritation of Lips or Cheeks
New braces can sometimes be irritating to the mouth.  A small amount of orthodontic wax makes an excellent buffer between the braces and lips, cheek or tongue.  Simply pinch off a small piece and roll it into a ball the size of a small pea.  Flatten the ball and place it completely over the area of the braces causing irritation. If possible, dry off the area first as the wax will stick better.  The patient may then eat more comfortably.  If the wax is accidentally swallowed it’s not a problem.  The wax is harmless.

Mouth Sores
People who have mouth sores during orthodontic treatment may gain relief by applying a small amount of topical anesthetic (such as Orabase or Ora-Gel) directly to the sore area using a cotton swab.  Reapply as needed.

It’s normal to have discomfort for three to five days after braces or retainers are adjusted.  Although temporary, it can make eating uncomfortable.  Encourage soft foods.  Have the patient rinse the mouth with warm salt water.  Over-the-counter pain relievers, acetaminophen or ibuprofen, may be effective.

Lost Rubber Bands
Tiny rubber bands known as alastic ligatures, are often used to hold the archwire into the bracket or brace.  If an alastic ligature is lost, contact Dr. Westfallen’s office, who can advise you whether the patient should be seen.

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