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) 348-2240 and one of our team members will respond as soon as possible.
Table of Contents
- Sore Teeth/Canker Sores
- Loose/Broken Bracket
- Long Wire
- Wire Tie Poking
- Forsus Bar Slipped Out
- How to Wear Rubber Bands
- Swollen Gums
- Broken Elastic Chain
- Uncomfortable Expander
- Expander Came Out
- Blue Bite Bump Has Worn Down
- Lingual Bar is Broken
- Cannot Turn Expander
- Space in Front Teeth
- Irritation from Expander Bands
- Blue Separator Came Out
- Lost or Broken Invisalign Tray
- Lost or Broken Clear Retainer
- Bonded Retainer Poking
- Lost or Broken Wire Retainer
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!
Example of back bracket irritating cheek
Example of placing wax over irritating bracket
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.
Example of an intact bracket
Example of loose bracket
Example of placing wax on loose bracket
Example of wax placement over long wire
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.
Example of back bracket off/long wire
Example of how to trim long wire
Example of trimmed wire
Wire ties are poking/sticking out:
Sometimes we use metal wire ties instead of the color ties to hold the wire in place. If those metal wire ties start to cause discomfort or break, give our office a call during the next business day to schedule an appointment to come in and get it fixed. In the meantime, you can tuck the tie in with a pencil eraser or place wax on it to make it comfortable.
Example of correct position of metal wire tie
Example of metal wire tie sticking out
Example of using eraser to push metal tie in
Example of wax placement over metal wire
Example of metal loop sticking out
Example of using eraser to push metal loop back into place
Example of correct placement
Forsus Bar slipped out of the spring
Open mouth wide
Pull spring back and align bar with spring
Place rod into spring
Correct Forsus position
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”
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.
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.
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.
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.
Cannot turn expander:
Watch this video: https://youtu.be/JaFCa-PFTQU
If you’re still having trouble, call us during the next business day for 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!
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 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.
Lost or broken Invisalign tray:
If you lose or break one or both of the current set of Invisalign trays, try moving to the next set of scheduled trays. If they don’t fit, call us to schedule an appointment and keep wearing your set of trays from the previous week. Bring the rest of the trays you have with you to your appointment.
Lost or broken clear retainer(s):
If you break or lose your retainer(s), call us to schedule an appointment as soon as possible. Your teeth can shift rapidly so it’s important to remake them right away. Set aside at least 30 minutes for this appointment so we can take a new impression of your teeth and make your new retainer(s).
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.
Lost or broken metal wire retainer:
If you break or lose your retainer(s), call us to schedule an appointment as soon as possible. Your teeth can shift rapidly so it’s important not to wait for new ones. Set aside at least 30 minutes for this appointment so we can take a new impression of your teeth and make your new retainer(s). If you have the printed model of your teeth, please bring it with you.
120 9th St, Lakeport, CA 95453
Monday — Wednesday
8:30 AM to 5:00 PM
8:30 AM to 4:00 PM
Friday — Sunday
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