If you’ve ever had braces, or been a parent of someone who has, you know that braces can transform your smile completely. You also probably know that can sometimes be some bumps along the path to that perfectly aligned smile. From that post-adjustment period, to poking wires, to broken brackets, having braces isn’t always sunshine and roses. Luckily, we’ve been down this road before, so we’ll help you create your very first braces survival kit.
If You Have Braces, Never Leave Home Without These 5 Things
In order to help make sure you’re prepared for whatever may come your way when you have braces, always make sure to bring these 5 things with you.
It’s also important to make sure you have a good guide for techniques to follow during minor orthodontic emergencies. You can view our own helpful guide [online].
Orthodontic wax is designed to stick to the metal or ceramic parts of your braces, but not to the sensitive skin in your mouth. Wax can help shield sensitive parts of your mouth as you get used to having braces, or cover a short wire that is poking you, or keep a loose bracket from wiggling too much until you can get to the office for a fix up. To use it, you pull off a small piece of the wax. Orthodontic wax becomes more flexible from the heat of your hands. Roll the piece of wax up and place it over the offending bracket or wire.
We carry orthodontic wax at Midwest Orthodontics, but it is also available online, in case you want to stash a pack in a few different places. If you don’t happen to have wax on hand, you can also use a piece of pencil eraser if you have one, or soak a piece of cotton ball or pad in water.
Tweezers (clean and sterile) are a must-have in any orthodontic survival kit. Tweezers can be used to move, push, bend, and slide wires into place, or even bend a bracket back over an archwire. Different shaped tweezers do different jobs, so if you’re not sure which one you need, you can always order a set.
Nail Clippers or Cuticle Nippers
If you aren’t able to push, bend or pull a wire back into place using the tweezers, you may need to clip the wire if it is causing too much discomfort. The easiest way to do this is to use a pair of nail clippers or a cuticle nipper. If you can’t see what you’re doing, it’s a good idea to ask someone for help. Many school nurses offices are prepared for minor orthodontic emergencies. Note: these should be clean and sterile and kept only for the purposes of your orthodontic survival kit! You can order a separate clipper or cuticle nipper online. If you choose a clipper, we recommend finding a smaller one.
Orthodontic Floss Picks
This may sound obvious, but when you have braces, you’ll never want to leave home without an easy way to floss your teeth. These orthodontic floss picks are portable, easy to use with one hand, and don’t require any threading. They are specially shaped to fit under an archwire. You can keep them in a bag, glove box, pocket, or anywhere. A floss pick plus a good swish of water can help you if you are offered an unexpected snack, or *gasp* forgot your toothbrush.
OTC Pain Reliever
The few hours after an orthodontic adjustment can be uncomfortable. Having a dose of whatever parent-approved over the counter pain reliever you use for headaches is a great idea. If you are experiencing pain or discomfort that is regular or does not go away with a regular dose of OTC pain reliever like Acetaminophen or Ibuprofen, it’s a good idea to speak with your orthodontist or doctor. Otherwise, a quick pain relief method is just what you need so you can focus, and keep your mind off your mouth.
If you got your braces on at Midwest Orthodontics, we give you a little case with other orthodontic goodies, and it would be a perfect place to keep your braces survival kit.
Do you have braces, or have had them in the past? What did you keep in your braces survival kit? We’d love to hear your ideas and suggestions in the comments.