Fixing a Pokey Orthodontic Wire

If you have an emergency with a protruding wire, there are a variety of ways to take care of this right from the convenience of your own home!

Poking wires always occur at the worst times. Usually right before the weekend or just as your about to leave for vacation. With these tips, you can temporarily fix the protruding wire and provide yourself with some much needed relief until you can visit us for a permanent solution.

Orthodontic Wax: This is always our first recommended solution. It is the easiest tool to create a smooth surface over the wire. Look for our previous blog post on how to properly apply wax!

Tweezers: If the wire has slipped out of the molar bracket, you may be able to use tweezers to slide the wire back into the bracket slot. Once you have bent the wire back, use orthodontic wax to keep the wire in place until you are able to visit us again.

Nail Clippers/ Wire Cutters: This option is a last resort, but a great way to provide comfort in times of need. To clip the wire, pull back your cheek, dry the area, and with the help of an adult, carefully clip the poking wire. After clipping the wire, be sure to apply wax to hold it in place.

Don’t forget, we are always here to help. You can call or text us pictures directly to our office number (267.397.3354). We can answer any questions and guide you through these steps!

What is Invisalign? And how does it work?

Align Technology first introduced Invisalign to the market in 1999 after recent advances in digital technology enabled the creation of sequential removable aligners to move teeth. Once novel, Invisalign is now a digital orthodontic appliance used to treat millions of patients.  Invisalign, however, is not the only company to use this technology. Many companies are now utilizing this technology allowing your orthodontist to select the appliance that works best for you.

How does it work?

Invisalign, or the generic term clear aligners, are customized appliances created by the aid of sophisticated 3D imaging and animation tools that enable virtual simulation of tooth movements.  Tooth movements resemble a filmstrip, and each frame is called a stage.  Each stage corresponds to a set of clear plastic aligner trays.  As the trays are worn by the patient, every tray pushes the teeth .25-.33mm at a time. Each tray or aligner is composed of clear, removable polyurethane, which provides esthetic and more comfortable appliance wear experience than the traditional fixed appliances like braces. This unique and esthetic alternative to tooth movement continues to recruit more patients to orthodontic therapy.

Virtually invisable trays gradually straighten your teeth over the course of treatment

The importance of using an expert

The weakness of this system and software is that it assumes tooth movements in the patient will mirror the virtual treatment.  It hardly happens perfectly with every patient every time.  Yet, some clinicians are very successful in producing the desired result whereas, the rest of the world maybe disappointed. Thus, orthodontists, dentists, or at home aligner systems who plan to use clear aligners must rely heavily on their past clinical experience, highlighting the importance of seeking treatment by an expert. Fortunately, both Drs. George and Cogan are not only Board-Certified Orthodontists, but experts in the field of Invisalign and clear aligner treatment. Together, they have treated thousands of Invisalign cases and are confident that our office can provide you with the smile you have always dreamed of.

Give us a call today and let us help you achieve the happier, healthier you.

Orthodontic Appointments during the COVID-19 Pandemic

As you may have heard, the Department of Health in PA has issued revised guidance, allowing dental offices to resume required procedures with new protocols in place.  We are therefore, happy to announce that as of May 18, 2020, we are scheduling certain necessary appointments once again.  With our long-awaited re-opening comes new office policies and appointment procedures.   Rest assure, while many things have changed, one thing has remained the same: 

Our commitment for your safety.

What will your appointment look like? Our office has instituted the vast amount of infection control recommendations made by the American Dental Association (ADA), the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) to ensure your safety, our safety, and the safety of the community. Below we have listed the many new procedures and policies in place.

  • Increasing how often we clean and sanitize all common areas, including but not limited to door handles, countertops, and sinks, to every hour
  • All team members adhere to a daily wellness screening and temperature check upon arrival to the office.
  • All team members are wearing facemasks and washing their hands every hour at minimum
  • PPE for our clinical team includes: disposable gowns, surgical facemasks, N-95 during all aerosol procedures, face shields and gloves
  • BioNet Air purification units and new central air filtration were installed
  • As always, patient chairs are cleaned and sanitized between every patient.
  • Patients will be placed at every other chair, or in one of our semi private rooms in order to follow social distancing guidelines.
  • Appointments will be managed to allow for social distancing between patients. That might mean that you’re offered fewer options for scheduling your appointment during the ongoing pandemic.

You will also see some changes when it is time for your next appointment. We made these changes to help protect our patients and staff. For example:

  • Patients are asked to BRUSH TEETH PRIOR to their appointment – our brushing station will be closed
  • We have now implemented CURBSIDE CHECK IN.  Upon arrival, STAY IN YOUR VEHICLE and dial our office phone number. 
  • Entry is limited to the PATIENT ONLY for routine appointments– our waiting room is closed-– please let us know ahead of time if you feel it is absolutely necessary to accompany your child into the office. 
  • A team member will perform a verbal WELLNESS SCREENING directed to our patient and anyone accompanying them into the building.  
  • A team member, will then come out to your car to escort you/your child into the building where your temperature will be taken.
  • FACE MASK must be worn by every individual entering the building and gloves if possible.
  • You will be asked to SANITIZE YOUR HANDS and then led to the sink to RINSE WITH PEROXYL prior to being seated in the operatory.  
  • The clinical staff, clothed in the proper PPE will perform the scheduled and recommended procedures

Upon completion, if requested, your child can use their own phone to facetime or call you chair side to allow our clinical team to update you on your child’s treatment.  Otherwise a team member will discuss today’s appointment curbside.

We hope that all the necessary precautions and new safety measures in place will provide reassurance and address any concerns you may have about continuing or seeking your orthodontic treatment.

We look forward to seeing you again and are happy to answer any questions you may have about the steps we take to keep you, our team, and our community safe in our practice.

Thank you for partnering with us. We value your trust and loyalty and look forward to welcoming back our patients, neighbors, and friends.

How to Apply Orthodontic Wax

Anyone who has ever had braces has experienced the nuisance of a pokey wire. No matter what we as orthodontists do, it is an unfortunate inevitability. There are a few different reasons why this may happen. First, as your teeth begin to straighten, the wire has a tendency to shift. Most times you won’t even notice. However, if the wire shifts far enough, you will begin to feel that discomfort in the back of your cheek. Another common reason for the wire to start poking is when the orthodontist is closing spaces or gaps between your teeth. As those spaces close, the arch or perimeter of your teeth decreases. There is only one place for this wire to slide, and that is in the back of your mouth.

Fortunately, orthodontic wax is a great and easy way to rid yourself of any discomfort until you can see your orthodontist for your next appointment. Below, we describe the proper steps to use wax to maximize its ability to provide you relief.

Step 1: Wash your hands and brush your teeth. We want to reduce the introduction of bacteria.
Step 2: Shape a small ball of wax. Pull off a little piece of wax from the pack and roll it with your fingers into a ball shape for at least 5 seconds to warm the wax. A blob the size of a popcorn kernel will usually do the job. Too much wax may result in it falling off.
Step 3: Locate the painful areas. Wax can cover up any area where sharp or rough metal is irritating your inner lips and cheeks. This can be braces or wires poking far in the back of your mouth.
Step 4: Dry off your braces. Dry with a tissue. The drier the area, the longer the wax will stick.
Step 5: Press the wax over the painful area and rub it in place. Using your thumb or forefinger, press the ball of wax over the bracket or wire causing you pain.
Step 6: Allow the wax to work: Once you applied the wax, your mouth should heal itself quickly. The wax barrier stops the irritation and allows the mouth the time to heal any sore spots.