True orthodontic emergencies are rare, but when they occur we are available to you. As a general rule, you should call our office when you experience severe pain or have a painful appliance problem. Schedule an appointment to resolve the problem as soon as possible.
Some problems can be solved at home temporarily until you can get to our office. If there is a loose piece that you can remove, put it in a plastic bag or envelope and bring it with you to your appointment. If your braces are poking you, put soft wax on the piece that's sticking out. If the wire has slid to one side, you can sometimes pull it back to the other side with tweezers or small pliers, replacing it in the tube on the back tooth.
If you are able to alleviate the discomfort, it is still important that you call our office to schedule a time to repair the problem. Allowing your appliance to remain damaged for an extended period of time may result in disruptions to your treatment plan. Our doctors are on call after hours as well for urgent situations.
When you get your braces on, you may feel general soreness in your mouth, and teeth may be tender to biting pressures for three to five days. Stick to a soft diet until your teeth do not hurt to chew. Irritated gums and other sore spots can be relieved by rinsing your mouth with a warm salt-water mouthwash. Dissolve one teaspoonful of salt in eight ounces of warm water, and rinse your mouth vigorously, then spit the salt water out. If the tenderness is severe, take Acetaminophen (Tylenol), Ibuprofen (Motrin, Advil) or whatever you normally take for headache or similar pain.
The lips, cheeks, and tongue may become irritated for one to two weeks as they learn a new posture and become accustomed to the surface of the braces. You can put wax on the braces to lessen this.
Sometimes discomfort is caused by not wearing the headgear as instructed by your orthodontist. Please refer to the instructions provided by your orthodontist. If the facebow (metal piece) is bent, please call our office for assistance. The headgear should hurt less the more it's worn, so be sure you get in the prescribed number of hours.
If your appliance is poking you, place wax on the offending part.
If your bracket or band is still attached to the wire, you should leave it in place and put wax on it if needed for comfort. If the bracket or band can be removed easily, place it in an envelope and save it to bring to your appointment.
Using a pair of tweezers or small pliers, try to put your wire back into place. It is okay to use a piece of floss to tie the wire into place: tie the floss around the bracket in place of the missing colored o-ring. If you cannot put the wire into a comfortable position, and covering the end with wax doesn't help, as a last resort use a small fingernail clipper to clip the wire behind the last tooth to which it is securely fastened. If the end of the wire is still sharp place wax on it. Please call the office to schedule an appointment to repair the appliance.
Using a pencil eraser, push the poking wire down or place wax on it so that it is no longer poking.
We are here to help you and your family. Please feel free to contact us if you are in need or attention or have questions regarding your braces, aligners or treatment.