Now that you have started orthodontic treatment, here are a few hints to help get through the first several days with a minimum of discomfort.
There might be a general soreness in the mouth. This can be relieved
by rinsing the mouth with a warm salt water mouthwash. Dissolve one teaspoon of salt in 8 ounces of warm water, and rinse your mouth vigorously. If the tenderness is severe take aspirin, Tylenol, Advil or whatever you normally take for headache or similar pain. Soreness should end by the third or fourth day.
Loosening of Teeth
This is to be expected throughout treatment. It’s normal so don’t be
upset. The teeth will again become rigidly fixed in their new positions. Teeth must loosen first so they can be moved.
Be careful to protect the orthodontic appliances when you eat. Faithfully
follow our instructions on what foods to avoid. For the first day or so, soft foods will be more appropriate. Avoid eating tough meats, hard breads and raw, hard vegetables plus any other specific foods we find may cause problems.
If you take part in athletics, it’s important that you consult us for special precautions. In case of any accident involving the face, check your mouth and the appliances immediately. If teeth are loosened or the appliances damaged, phone at once for an appointment. In the meantime, treat your discomfort as you would treat any general soreness.
Loose Wire or Band
If a wire or band becomes loose, don’t be alarmed, this happens occasionally. If the wire protrudes and is irritating, carefully use a blunt instrument (back of spoon or the eraser end of a pencil) to gently push the wire under the archwire. Simply, get it out of the way. If irritation to the lips or mouth continues, place wax or wet cotton on the wire to reduce the annoyance.
Telephone our office as soon as possible for an appointment to check and repair appliances. If any piece comes off, save it and bring it with you to the office.
As a general rule, an emergency appointment may be made when there is pain, a loose band, a broken archwire or something sticking out that you can’t take care of. It’s important to know the names of the parts of your appliances. It will help when you
phone the office, to be able to identify what part is broken or out of place. Refer to the diagram on the back of this pamphlet.
Success of treatment depends upon cooperation between you, the doctor and staff. Wear the appliances as directed, avoid the foods that can be damaging and handle emergencies promptly. Always be conscientious and responsible toward your treatment. Quick, successful results depend upon you, too.
It’s very important that you keep your teeth, gums and appliances clean. At least once each day, spend a few moments with a mirror checking the appliances to make sure they are thoroughly clean and in good shape.
Always smile and be proud of your appliances. After all, it shows the world that you take very good care of yourself.