Some soreness is normal during orthodontic tooth movement whether you're being treated with Invisalign® or braces. For the first 3 to 5 days, or even more, patients should stick to a soft diet with chewier foods cut into small pieces. Irritated gums and other sore spots can be relieved by swishing with a warm salt water rinse made by dissolving one teaspoon of salt in eight ounces of warm water.
If the tenderness is severe, consider over-the-counter pain medication taken for general aches and pains. Acetaminophen (Tylenol) is preferred over Aspirin, Ibuprofen (Motrin, Advil), and Naproxen Sodium (Aleve) as research shows the latter can actually slow tooth movement.
Loose retainer or aligner.
If there is no danger of swallowing any part of the appliance, continue wearing it to prevent any relapse. We'll be able to evaluate and address the issue at your next appointment.
Loose bracket or band.
Loose brackets or bands still secured to the wire can be left in place. If needed, apply soft wax for comfort. If the bracket or band can be easily and safely removed, place it in a plastic bag and bring it to your next appointment.
Loose or pokey wire.
As teeth move, it is not uncommon for the wire to "grow" towards the back teeth. Simply placing soft wax on the pokey end is usually sufficient.
However, if the end of the wire is long enough, visible, and accessible, adults may choose to safely clip the long pokey end with a nail clipper, being careful that the clipped piece is not swallowed.
If the wire comes out of one or more brackets, use tweezers or needle-nose pliers to insert the wire back into place or a pencil eraser to bend the wire into a more comfortable position.