Temporarily reattach loose braces with a small piece of orthodontic wax. Alternatively, place the wax over the braces to provide a cushion. See your orthodontist as soon as possible. If the problem is a loose band, save it and call your orthodontist for an appointment to have it re-cemented or replaced (and to have missing spacers replaced).
If a wire breaks or sticks out of a bracket or band and is poking your cheek, tongue or gum, try using the eraser end of a pencil to push the wire into a more comfortable position. If you can't reposition the wire, cover the end with orthodontic wax, a small cotton ball, or piece of gauze until you can get to your orthodontist's office.
Take two pieces of dental floss and insert them through the spacer. Then pull on both pieces of floss to stretch the spacer and slide the spacer back and forth between the two teeth where it belongs. When the bottom half of the spacer slips under the tight spot between the teeth, release and remove the floss and the spacer should now be back in place.
Try pushing the wire away from the area being irritated using the eraser end of a pencil or a Q-Tip. If the wire cannot be tucked in, cover the end of the wire with a small piece of wax, a cotton ball, or a piece of sugarless gum, until you can see your orthodontist for a adjustment. Cutting the wire should only be done as a last resort if professional help is unavailable.
If the main wire has come out of the tube or pipe on the back molar tooth, you may attempt to reinsert the wire with a pair of needle nosed pliers or tweezers. If you are having a difficult time and the wire is not sticking you, place a piece of wax over the area. If the wire is sticking you and wax does not help, the wire can be cut with a small wire cutter or toenail clipper close to the back of the last brace. Cutting the wire should only be done as a last resort if professional help is unavailable.
If your teeth are sore after a monthly visit take aspirin, Tylenol or ibuprofen unless you are allergic to them. Rinsing your mouth with a teaspoon of salt dissolved in a glass of warm water can also be soothing.
If a retainer cracks, remove the retainer from your mouth and bring all the pieces to your orthodontist for a professional repair.
Clean and Soak
Removable dentures should be taken out at bedtime, cleaned, and soaked in a water-based cleaning solution overnight to keep your mouth healthy, remove food and plaque, and minimize staining. Dentures should be cleaned only with dish washing liquid or denture cleanser applied to a moistened denture brush or soft toothbrush, and all surfaces, inside and out, should be gently scrubbed. Individuals with implant overdentures need to practice especially careful oral hygiene, with thorough cleaning of the gums, attachment mechanism, and overdenture.
Keep Those Appointments!
Periodic examinations are key to maintaining oral health and ensuring that your dentures continue to function properly. In addition to routine exams, see your dental professional to:
- Address sore spots and irritations
- Remove stubborn stains that don’t come off with routine cleaning
- Repair broken dentures
- Determine if dentures need to be replaced (usually needed every 4 to 8 years).
Fees for denture-related services vary widely. Speak to your dental professional and contact your state or local dental society about any available resources.
Your Beautiful Smile
Communicating your needs, concerns, and expectations will help your dental professional provide you with the treatment plan and dentures that are best for you—giving you peace of mind, good oral health, and a reason to smile for years to come.