Dentures: Facts, Figures and Friendly Advice for Seniors

Dentures: Facts, Figures and Friendly Advice for Seniors

Braces: When Your Arch Wire Causes Discomfort

Herman Kim

Do you have metal braces? If something is continually pricking you in the gums or in the soft tissue inside your mouth, you might have to deal with bleeding or at least some irritation. This is not a standard issue when it comes to having braces, and your orthodontist will need to know so that the necessary steps can be taken to prevent this from happening. But what can cause a portion of your braces to prick you?

Archwire Adjustment

Your braces work by applying light pressure to your teeth to gently manipulate them into the desired position over the duration of time that's required. This pressure largely comes from the archwire, shaped to match the arches of your upper and lower teeth (hence the name). This pressure needs to be maintained, and this happens during the periodic readjustments for your braces. The archwire is shortened, exposing a small length of wire at the end. This portion is carefully trimmed away and discarded, and that's generally it until the next time the process needs to be performed.

The Amount of Exposed Archwire

If you experience discomfort or even bleeding after your archwire has been adjusted, it could be that an excessive amount of archwire was left in place. Though every caution has been taken to remove the correct length of wire, it can sometimes be that too much was left, creating a sharp edge after the trimming which can protrude from the rear of your teeth. The archwire can also begin to protrude between your dental appointments. This occurs when your teeth straighten (as they're supposed to do), exposing a greater length of archwire than was intended at your last adjustment.

Correcting the Issue

The sharp end of this archwire can be rather irritating, but this is not something you need to deal with. You should make an appointment as soon as possible in order to have the archwire trimmed once again. In the interim, you might wish to go to a pharmacy and pick up some dental wax. A small amount of dental wax can be applied to the end of the exposed arch wire, reducing its impact when it comes into contact with other parts of your mouth.

So if your braces begin to prick you in the mouth when the archwire becomes exposed for whatever reason, it's something that should be attended to as soon as possible. Your braces are going to correct your teeth, but you shouldn't need to bleed for it to happen.


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About Me
Dentures: Facts, Figures and Friendly Advice for Seniors

I am a senior who recently began wearing dentures, and before I got them, I spent a lot of time researching types of dentures and alternatives. Now, that I have my dentures and my research is complete, I need something new to fill my time. So, I decided to create a blog. "Why not put what I learned to use?" I thought. In this blog, I hope to share facts and figures about dentures and offer a little friendly advice along the way. Learn how many other Australians wear dentures, explore alternatives to dentures and figure out which options are best for you. Thanks for reading!

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