Your First Days in Orthodontic Treatement

(how to handle minor orthodontic emergencies)

Now that you have started orthodontic treatment, here are a few hints to help get you through the first several days with a minimum of discomfort.


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 prompltly. Always be conscientious and responsible towards your treatment. Quick, successful results depend uponyou too. It's very important that you keep your teth, gums, and appliances clean. At least once a day, spend a few moments with a mirror checking the appliances to make sure 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.

General Soreness

There might be a general soreness int he 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 vigorously. If the tenderness is severe, take aspirin or whatever you normally take for headache or similar pain.

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 foods to avoid. For the first day or so, soft foods will be more appropriate. Avoid eating tough meats, hard breads, and raw vegetables plus any other specific foods we find which cause problems.

Loose Wire or Band

If a wire or band becomes loose, don't be alarmed. This happens occasionally. If wire protrudes and is irritating, use a blunt instrument (back of a spoon or eraser end of a pencil) and carefully, gently push the wire under the archwire. Simply get it out of the way. If irritation to lips or mouth continues, place wax or wet cotton on the wore to reduce annoyance. Phone our office as soon as possible for an appointment to check and repair appliances. If any pieces come off, save it and bring it with you to the office.

Emergency Appointments

As a general rule, an emergency appointment may be made when there is severe pain, loose band, broken wire or something sticking out that you can not take care of. It's important to know the names of the parts of your appliances. It will help, when you p[hone the office, to be able to identify what part is broken or out of place.


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.