Now That an Archwire Has Been Placed

Your first archwire is a significant step in your treatment and you must treat this appliance with the utmost care.  The following is an outline of some difficulties you may experience, and how to handle them.

After active archewires are inserted, the patient will most likely complain of a general soreness in the mouth.  This discomfort can be relieved by rinsing the mouth out with warm salt water (1 tsp of table salt to 6oz of warm water), before and after each meal for 3-4 days.  Ibuprofen may be taken if the tenderness is severe.  This will be the most severe discomfort experienced.  Have no fear about future appliance changes; tenderness will be mild compared to the initial archwire.

Another quite common occurrence may be the loosening of many teeth throughout the treatment period.  This should be regarded as a normal phase of treatment.  Alignment of teeth occurs when a force is applied to them.  The teeth will tighten once the braces are removed and the retainer is worn faithfully full-time for 9-12 months afterwards.

Your archwire may be quite straight, or it may have a few or many loops incorporated in it.  The end of the archwire may poke into the cheeks or lips.  Some loops may irritate your lips or cheeks.  Use wax over the area, or if these tissues remain irritated and painful, call our office for an emergency visit.  If ligature wire is accidentally bent out, gently bend it back with a pencil eraser where it belongs.  If it still bothers you cover it with wax until your next appointment.

Brush and floss your teeth as you have been instructed at our office.  Be careful to remove all food particles around and under archwire, loops and ligatures.  Be careful that you don’t distort or break the archwire while brushing the teeth or eating; brush gently and watch your diet.  Most foods may be eaten, but please avoid hard or sticky candies, popcorn, chewing gum etc.  Your appliance is delicate.  

Your archwire will work for you if you take proper care of it.  Archwire breakage means extra visits, delays in your treatment and possible additional charges.  Your cooperation during treatment will mean successful case completion.

Parents are urged to read these instructions. Please feel free to call the office if you have any questions.