All you need to know about living with braces

Advances in the orthodontic industry means treatment is relatively comfortable, achieves excellent results and fits in with your lifestyle. At the Oxford Orthodontic Centre, we want you to get the very best out of your treatment, so here are a few things to know about living with braces.

New braces

Once you have chosen your braces and had them fitted to your teeth, you will experience a little bit of discomfort for the first few days. Think of them a bit like shoes and how a new pair of shoes can rub to start with. But the discomfort is easily relieved:

  • Take your normal headache tablet regularly for the first 24-48 hours.

  • If your braces rub your cheeks you may find rinsing with hot salty water will help.

  • Use your wax pack as advised.

  • Keep your braces very clean because infected gums can be painful.

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Orthodontic emergencies

Fortunately, orthodontic emergences are infrequent and if you follow our instructions carefully then very little will go wrong. However, occasionally you may run into problems. If you experience any of the following issues with your appliance, please let us know and follow our recommendations below until you can come in and see us.

Poking wire: If a fixed brace wire pokes out then you may be able to reposition it with your finger so that it is out of the way. Otherwise you may be able to cover the wire end with a bit of the soft wax we gave you at the start of treatment; suitable alternatives are a small piece of sugar-free chewing gum or a small piece of damp cotton wool.

Dislodged wire: If a long piece of thin wire becomes dislodged from several brackets then you may be able to get someone else to clip it off with sharp nail clippers. Be careful not to swallow the loose fragment.

Loose bracket: If a fixed brace bracket becomes unstuck and causes discomfort you may be able to flip it over to face the tooth.

If all else fails you may try and remove the wires. This can be done by removing ALL the small coloured elastics placed around each bracket; try using the end of a paperclip to help you. With all the elastics removed the wire may be gently pulled forward out of the mouth. Please let us know about this, as the wire should be replaced quickly to prevent unwanted tooth movement.

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If all else fails you may try and remove the wires. This can be done by removing ALL the small coloured elastics placed around each bracket; try using the end of a paperclip to help you. With all the elastics removed the wire may be gently pulled forward out of the mouth. Please let us know about this, as the wire should be replaced quickly to prevent unwanted tooth movement.

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