What is an orthodontic emergency?
Fortunately, true orthodontic emergencies are rare, but when they do occur, we are available to you. Call the office if you experience severe pain or a painful appliance problem that you cannot take care of yourself.
Loose brackets and bands and poking wires, although annoying, are not emergencies unless they are causing pain. We will be happy to schedule a time for you to come in during office hours to take care of these situations.
What to do in case of a problem:
Discomfort with Orthodontic Treatment
During the first week of treatment, you may feel some pain, soreness or discomfort. You may take acetaminophen or other non-aspirin pain relievers while you adjust to your new braces. A warm wash cloth or heating pad may reduce the soreness in your jaws.
The lips, cheek and tongue may become irritated until they become accustomed to the surface of the braces. You can put wax on the braces to lessen this irritation.
Sometimes as teeth shift, the ends of the archwire will start poking out of the back of the last brace and may begin irritating the cheeks. This can be resolved by moving the wire away from the irritated area with a cotton swab or eraser. If the wire will not move, cover the end of it with small amount of wax or a piece of cotton. If the wire is painful, you can cut it with nail clippers or scissors that have been washed and sterilized in alcohol. If you cannot resolve the wire irritation, call our office for an appointment.
Occasionally a metal tie is used to tie the archwire to the bracket. This metal tie can become redirected and start to cause irritation to your lips and cheeks. Try to push the poking end into place with a pencil eraser. If this is not possible, place wax on the area and call the office for an appointment.
Loose Brackets or Bands
Loose bracket as bands are usually caused by eating hard or sticky foods or by playing with your braces. This is generally not an emergency unless associated with pain or discomfort. If the bracket or band is attached to the wire, leave it in place and cover it with wax as needed for comfort. If the bracket or band comes out completely, bring it with you to your next appointment. Please do not connect elastics or headgear to loose braces. Call our office to schedule a repair appointment if a bracket or band is loosened. As repair appointments are longer, this may not be able to be done during your regular appointment time.
Most patients lose a separator during their treatment. Do not worry about losing a separator, but call our office to see if it needs to be replaced.
If a wire is out of a bracket or band, use tweezers to try to put it back into place. If the wire will not move, cover the area with wax or a small piece of cotton and call the office to schedule an appointment.