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Common Orthodontic Issues

At Lake Orthodontics, we know that orthodontic issues don’t always happen during business hours but that doesn’t mean you have to suffer! Below are some of the most common orthodontic problems and solutions to try at home while awaiting an appointment with our team.

If you still need help that can’t wait until your next appointment, we are happy to see you for a sooner visit. Call our office during office hours to schedule a visit at (707) 263-5390. If our office is closed and you are experiencing pain and in need of emergency help, please text (707) 263-5390 and one of our team members will respond as soon as possible.

Sore teeth and/or canker sores on the lips, cheeks, or tongue:

Teeth feeling sore or tender to biting pressure is normal. We know it’s uncomfortable, but it’s an inevitable part of moving teeth. Braces or Invisalign can also cause canker sores or sore spots on the soft tissue of the mouth. Place wax on any areas that are bothering you (there’s some in the kit we gave you, or you can find some in the mailbox outside the office). Warm salt water rinses also help – dissolve 1 teaspoon of salt in 8 ounces of warm water. If the pain is severe, you are welcome to take whatever you normally take for a headache to relieve the discomfort. Rest assured after a few days you will develop a callous in that area and it will feel much better!

Loose/Broken Brackets:

Call our office during the next business day to let us know so we can schedule you a visit to fix it. If the bracket came off the wire, please save it and bring it with you. If it is sliding on the wire but still attached, you can just leave it there or place wax on it to make it more comfortable. If it is the last bracket in the back, you can slide it off the wire and place wax on the end to prevent it from poking you, or you can attempt to cut the wire with nail clippers or a small wire cutter at the nearest bracket.

Wire has slid around and is now too long on one side:

Attempt to slide the wire back in the correct direction. You can use tweezers or a similar small tool to slide the wire through the brackets. If it won’t slide, just clip the side that is long with nail clippers or a small wire cutter and call us during business hours to schedule a visit.

Gums are swollen near bracket or rubber bands:

Brush gums 3x a day, use floss or a water pick to clean the area thoroughly, rinse with antibacterial mouth wash and/or warm salt water 3x a day. You can stop wearing elastics for a few days if you need to while it heals. Start wearing them again after it feels better.

Expander Issues:

Expander is uncomfortable:

If you recently got your expander, it will take 2-3 days to get used to it. It is normal to have difficulty swallowing, talking, and getting used to it for the first few days. Practice talking as much as possible, and re-learn to swallow by taking small sips of water and practicing with small amounts of soft foods first. We know it’s a big adjustment for you but we promise you will get used to it!!

Expander came out on one or both sides:

If it came out completely, call our office on the next business day for an appointment and bring it with you when you come. If it only came off on one side, you can attempt to take it out completely by wiggling it back and forth until it comes all the way off. If it won’t come all the way out, push the loose band back onto the tooth it came off of. It should stay up well enough for you to continue functioning normally until you can call our office on the next business day and so we can re-cement it.

Cannot turn expander:

Watch this video:
If you’re still having trouble, call us during the next business day for an appointment.

Bands on the expander are irritating cheeks:

This is a normal part of your mouth adapting to the expander, place wax on the bands, keep the area clean with your toothbrush or water pick, and rinse with antibacterial mouth wash and/or warm salt water 3x a day.

Blue bite bump has worn down so you are biting on brackets now:

Be careful when eating, call the office on the next business day to get an appointment for us to replace it. If one or both of them fell off but you aren’t biting on brackets, there is no need to come in, unless it is causing you discomfort.

Lingual Bar or space maintainer is broken on one side:

Wiggle it with a firm pressure on the other side until it breaks. Put wax over the broken end. Call us during the next business day to make an appointment.

Space opening between front teeth during braces:

Spaces opening up is a normal part of widening your smile and aligning your teeth. Don’t worry, at your next visit we will place some elastic chain between your teeth to begin bringing all your teeth together!

Bonded retainer is poking:

Place wax on it or place your clear retainer over the top of it. Call us during the next business day so we can remove it or repair it.

Elastic chain is broken:

Clip broken chain close to bracket with small scissors or fingernail clippers. Call us during the next business day to schedule a visit.

Blue separator came out:

Loop two pieces of floss through the separator and floss it back in between the teeth where it came out. If there is a space and it won’t stay in, don’t worry, that means there is enough room for us to place the band and you don’t need it any more. If you band fitting appointment is more than a week away, give us a call during the next business day to let us know.

Forgot how to wear your rubber bands:

Call us and we will tell you how to wear them. The most common are “Class Two” or “Class Three”

Class II

Class III

Want to schedule an appointment? Call the office or send us a message.

Lake Orthodontics

120 9th St, Lakeport, CA 95453

Business Hours

Monday — Wednesday
8:30 AM to 5:30 PM

8:30 AM to 2:00 PM

Friday — Sunday

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