What Happens When My Braces’ Wire Gets Bent
Braces are a great way to achieve a straighter smile, but it is a long process and sometimes there can be little hiccups along the way. Sometimes you might experience a little pain or sensitivity or get something stuck in your braces or even get the wires bent. It can be a little nerve-wracking because you don’t always know how to handle these situations? Should you make an emergency visit to the dentist or can you handle the situation at home until your next appointment?
First things first. Make sure you didn’t go into the treatment lightly in the first place. Do your due diligence and research exactly how braces work and what issues you will have to look for. When you pick the right orthodontist who truly cares that you have the most positive experience possible, he or she will make sure that all your questions are answered and that you know exactly what to expect.
Also, it is important to know what happens when the orthodontist bends your braces’ wire. Your braces are made up of brackets that are directly attached to your teeth and wires that are put through the brackets and secured with colored o rings. The orthodontist bends the arch wires in the direction he or she wants your teeth to move. Arch wires are made of material that will always attempt to move back to its original shape. As your teeth are straightening out, the wires will get straighter which will cause excess wire to stick out behind the braces. This extra wire might start poking you causing irritation.
Unless the pain is really severe or causing cuts in your mouth, you probably can wait until your next regularly scheduled appointment for the orthodontist to fix the wire. There are some things you can do at home as well. You can:
- Put some wax on the wire to create a buffer between your mouth and the wire.
- Use a pencil eraser to bend the wire away from your cheek
- Use a clean fingernail clipper to cut the excess wire off.
Even if you are able to resolve this issue yourself, it is important to let the orthodontist check your mouth out carefully to ensure that you didn’t unknowingly make things worse instead of better. It is also a good idea to just call the office and talk to the orthodontist so he or she knows what is going on.
To help relieve any irritation, you can rinse your mouth with a warm salt-water solution (one teaspoon of salt and eight ounces of warm water). Another good solution is to use Orajel on the affected area.
If you are unsure if the problem is serious enough for an emergency visit to the orthodontist, then call the office and talk to their triage staff to see what they think you should do. This is at least give you some piece of mind that you are handling the situation in the right way.
When to see the orthodontist right away
If you eat something or got into an accident where part of the braces got bent, then that is a different situation. Dental experts agree that when you have a bent wire in your braces that you shouldn’t ignore the problem. Instead, make an appointment to see the orthodontist to get it fixed within a day or two of when you first noticed the problem.
While you may be tempted to try to fix this yourself, don’t. Orthodontists are trained to know how to exactly bend the arch wire. By doing it yourself, you risk sending your teeth in the wrong direction.
Remember a bent wire can make your teeth move in a different direction than was intended so the sooner you fix the problem, the better it will be. By ignoring the problem, you are only going to have to wear the braces longer.
If you have painful sores or are afraid that you might have an infection, then it is also imperative that you see the orthodontist right away. Your oral health should always remain one of your top priorities. The condition of your mouth has been shown time and time again to affect your overall health so you don’t want to mess with it. You only get one pair of adult teeth so you need to take proper care of them.
How to properly care for your braces
The most important thing when it comes to your braces is to follow your orthodontist’s instructions. Avoid foods like hard candy and popcorn that can get stuck in the wires and keep them properly cleaned. Also make sure you get in to see the hygienist for a teeth cleaning every 6 months. It can be harder to get a complete clean mouth when you are wearing braces so those professional cleanings are especially important at this time. This will help reduce the chance for problems. Also, wear protective mouth gear when playing sports so that you don’t bend or break the wires or brackets when you fall or get hit.
All worth it in the end
With all the potential for things to go wrong and all the precautions you need to take when it comes to wearing braces, it might seem like too much work. Hold tight though because when you see the results the little bit inconvenience will be so worth it. Friends and family will complement you on your beautiful smile and you will feel so much more confident in everything you do. While it is a major investment of time and money, braces will give you something so much more priceless: a beautiful smile.
If you are still on the fence on whether or not you are going to get braces, at least do some research before making it a definite no. With the right orthodontist team, you will have top notch care and the benefit of the latest technology and very few hiccups. It is all about just finding the right orthodontist for your needs.