Handling Orthodontic Issues at Home

Given the current situation, Mehta Orthodontics would like to assist you in learning how to handle orthodontic issues at home. You can still contact us via phone or email about any issues or concerns regarding your orthodontic treatment.

Below are some steps to help temporarily fix or alleviate any discomfort you may be feeling and prevent any additional damage. Should any of these incidents occur during our time of closure it is important to keep us informed. You can stay in contact with us via our website, social media, email or phone. We may even be able to walk you through the process over the phone or via a video call.

Before starting, make sure you have a few tools available

  • Orthodontic relief wax
  • Dental floss
  • Disinfected tweezers
  • Q-tips
  • Salt
  • Interproximal brush
  • Toothpicks
  • Non-prescription reliever (Panadol)
  • Topical Anaesthetic (Orabase or Ora-Gel)

The following 6 orthodontic issues can generally be dealt with from home.  If brackets or bands have come loose in any way, please call us as soon as you notice and we will guide you on what to do.

1. Lost Module (Colour)

A module is the small elastic colour that is used to hold the wire in place against your braces. If this module comes off, you may be able to replace it using disinfected tweezers. Should this happen and you are unable to put the module back on, please give us a call and we will guide you through the process.

2. Ligature Discomfort or Loose Ligature

A ligature is a very small, thin wire that is twisted around the bracket holding the wire in place. On some teeth as well as or instead of a module a ligature is used.  If a ligature is sticking out into the lip but not loose, it may be bent back down using your finger or a q-tip. If a ligature comes loose, simply remove it using disinfected tweezers.

3. Discomfort

Although it is normal to have some discomfort during orthodontic treatment, it should never last more than a couple of days. Rinsing your mouth out with warm salt water and over-the-counter pain relievers such as Panadol or Nurofen may alleviate some discomfort. If discomfort persists longer than a couple of days please ensure you contact us.

4. Mouth Sores

Some patients are susceptible to episodes of mouth sores. While braces do not cause them, they may be aggravated by an irritation from the braces. The most common places to get mouth sores are on the cheeks, lips and tongue. This is not an emergency but can be very uncomfortable. Prompt relief may be achieved by applying a small amount of topical anaesthetic such as Orabase or Ora-Gel directly to the area, reapplying when needed.

5. Irritation in the Mouth

Sometimes braces or wires can be irritating to the mouth. A small amount of orthodontic relief wax makes an excellent buffer between metal and 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 braces causing irritation.

6. Protruding Wire

Occasionally the end of a wire will work itself out of place and can irritate the mouth. Use a q-tip or clean tweezers 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 relief wax.