First Line Dental is a 42 North Dental Care, PLLC practice and is owned and operated by dentists Dr. Samuel Shames, DDM. and Dr. Ronald Weissman, DDM. First Line Dental is supported by 42 North Dental, LLC, a dental support organization that provides non-clinical administrative and business support services to the practice. 42 North Dental, LLC does not own or operate the dental practice or employ dentists to provide dental services. Find more information about 42NorthDental, LLC and the dental practices it supports at 42northdental.com.
Social distancing measures have caused most dental and orthodontic offices to temporarily suspend normal operations. That is a wise precaution against COVID-19, but it might leave you wondering what you should do if you encounter a problem with your braces during the quarantine. Do not hesitate to contact your orthodontist. They might urge you to visit them for an emergency appointment. They may also share some tips with you, such as the following, on how you can handle orthodontic issues at home.
If any of the wires in your braces begin to stick out and irritate your mouth, you might be able to push the wire back against your teeth. Attempt to do so gently, and use a cotton swab and disinfected tweezers to help you maneuver the wire. If moving the wire proves to be difficult, do not try to force it into place. Instead, cover its end with a bit of orthodontic relief wax.
A ligature (O-ring) is a tiny rubber band or wire that helps to hold braces in place. If you have rubber ligatures and one comes off, you might be able to put it back in place with the help of tweezers. If you have a wire ligature that is sticking out, you might be able to bend it against your tooth using disinfected tweezers or even a pencil eraser.
Irritation and Discomfort
If any part of your braces is irritating your mouth, orthodontic relief wax may be able to help. Just roll a small ball of the wax between your fingers (the balls should be the size of a small pea). Then, flatten the wax over the part of your braces that is causing the problem. It will create a comfortable barrier between the soft tissues in your mouth and your orthodontic device.
Other types of discomfort, such as normal soreness due to moving teeth, are also fairly simple to handle. Rinsing your mouth with warm salt water, as well as taking over the counter pain relievers, should help. However, if the pain persists for more than a few days or is severe in nature, you should contact your orthodontist right away.
If you are prone to mouth sores, braces might make the sores even more painful than usual. One possible way to find relief is by using a cotton swab to apply an oral analgesic directly to the areas that hurt.
Hopefully, you will make it through this period of social distancing without any major orthodontic problems. However, if you do encounter an issue, do not hesitate to reach out to your orthodontist. They are ready to help!
About the Author
Dr. Xing Zhu is the on-staff orthodontist at First Line Dental. He is a graduate of the University of Connecticut School of the Dental Medicine. Although First Line Dental is currently closed, Dr. Zhu is working with partner practices to provide emergency care for patients. If you have concerns about your orthodontic treatment, you can reach our team by calling 860-327-5990 and following the emergency prompts.