You have braces to help straighten your teeth and give you a more appealing smile. You knew you would experience some pain and discomfort at first, but you figured over the course of a few days or weeks you'd be feeling more comfortable with your new braces and their brackets.
Being uncomfortable while wearing braces is to be expected at first. Here are signs that you need to visit your orthodontist about problems with your braces:
You Have Ulcers in Your Mouth
Mouth ulcers resemble canker sores, and form on the inside of your lips or cheeks when the brackets of your braces rub against your tender, soft skin. These ulcers are painful to the touch and make it hard to eat, speak, chew, or even swallow.
See your orthodontist right away if you have painful white or yellow spots inside your mouth. Your orthodontic specialist can give you an oral wax to rub on your braces' brackets to help relieve the irritation in your mouth.
You Feel Intense Pressure
Having your braces tightened is part of the teeth-straightening process. Expect some pressure or slight discomfort while your mouth gets used to the tightening measures your orthodontist will place on your teeth as your braces use progresses.
If you feel intense pressure, including pain in your jaw, intense headaches, or throat pain, call your orthodontist right away. Your braces may need to be slightly readjusted to still straighten your teeth but give you some relief from the pressure.
You Feel Loose Wires
Your braces are comprised of small brackets placed on your teeth that are joined by tiny metal wires. These wires can break, especially if you pick at your teeth with toothpicks, brush your teeth too hard, or chew on gummy candies or chewing gum.
Feel your braces on the outside with your finger to see if you can feel any protruding wires. A broken wire can cut your gums or inner cheek and cause a mouth infection. Your orthodontist will give you an examination and cut broken or loose wires and replace them with new, durable wires. Remember: loose or broken wires on your braces should not be repaired at home.
As you get used to your new braces, expect an adjustment period. With some patience, and regularly seeing your oral health specialist for the right orthodontic treatments, you can wear your braces successfully. Over time your braces will become more comfortable, and the result will be a smile you can love.