In How Do I Handle Orthodontic Emergencies Part (I), we looked at the various management approaches for food caught between teeth and ligatures coming off. In Part II, we will look at Orthodontic Discomfort, Mouth Sores and Irritation of Lips and Cheeks
* Orthodontic Discomfort
After braces/retainers are adjusted, patients may experience some discomfort as the teeth adapt to the new configuration. However, this discomfort is temporary and it will subside in a few days. To alleviate the discomfort in the first few days, patients should eat soft food in order to reduce stress to the teeth.
* Mouth Sores
Mouth sores, more commonly known as ulcers, appear as interruptions along the surface of the lips, mouth and tongue. Mouth sores generally do not require emergency attention, but cause extreme discomfort to the patient. Ulcers may or may not be caused by braces. For the former, ill fitting braces or dentures comes into contact with the oral surface and the friction resulting from constant contact and movement will lead to the formation of ulcers. For the latter, the braces aggravates and existing ulcer and causes the ulcer to worsen. The remedy for mouth sores involves applying a small amount of topicl anesthetic to the ulcers with a cotton swab. This will soothe the discomfort and bring relief to the patient. If the braces are causing the ulcer to worsen, dental wax can be placed on the braces to mimize contact with the ulcer.
* Irritation of Lips and Cheeks
When braces are first installed and worn, they may cause irritation to the lips and cheeks. The irritation can be worse on eating. Dental wax can act as a buffer and mitigate the irritation to the lips and cheeks. This is achieved by flatting a ball of wax and using it to cover the section of braces causing irritation.