In How Do I Handle Orthodontic Emergencies Part (II), we looked at the different ways of resolving orthodontic discomfort, mouth sores and irritation of lips and cheeks. In Part III, we will look at protruding wire and loose brackets, wires or bands.
* Protruding Wire
Sometimes the wire that is threaded through the braces brackets comes loose and starts to poke the patient's mouth. This can cause discomfort and pain. To resolve the issue, the wire can be pushed against the tooth such that it is not left hanging freely. If the wire cannot be moved, wax should be used to cover the protruding tip. If these steps do not solve the problem, the wire can be clipped as a last resort. This can be done with a pair of pliers. However, it is important to ensure that the patient does not swallow the clipped piece of wire and this procedure should only be done if there is a significant period of time before seeing the orthodontist.
* Loose brackets, wires or bands
Brackets are the metal squares that are glued onto the teeth with a special adhesive. Under normal circumstances, the adhesive holds the brackets in a fixed position. However, when undue pressure is applied, the brackets may come loose and be displaced from the center of the tooth. This occurs during consumption of hard food such as peanuts. The brackets can also get displaced during sports activities. If the teeth are knocked while playing sports, the impact may cause the brackets to come loose. As prevention is better than cure, wearing a mouth guard to protect the teeth will minimize such occurences. However, sometimes there is a need for corrective action. If the bracket is shiftted to the side or has rotated about the wire, a pair of tweezers can be used to slide and rotate the bracket into the correct position. This will help to reduce discomfort and mitigate any damage cause by the loose appliances.