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 any appliance problem.
We’ll be able to schedule an appointment to resolve the problem. Do not wait until your regular adjustment appointment to let us know you’re having a problem. Always call us right away. We are here to help!
You might be surprised to learn that you may be able to solve many problems yourself 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.
After alleviating your discomfort, it is very important that you still call our office as soon as possible 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.
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.
If the tenderness is severe, take Acetaminophen (Tylenol) or whatever you normally take for headache or similar pain. Aspirin, Ibuprofen (Motrin, Advil), and Naproxen Sodium (Naprosyn, Anaprox) actually slow the tooth movement, so it is not advisable to use them frequently while you’re wearing braces.
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. We’ll show you how!
Sometimes discomfort is caused by not wearing the headgear as instructed by an orthodontist. Please refer to the instructions provided by our office. If the facebow (metal piece) is bent, please call us for assistance. The headgear should hurt less the more it’s worn, so make 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 next appointment.
Using a pair of tweezers or needle-nosed pliers, try to put your wire back into place. If you cannot put the wire into a comfortable position, covering the end with wax might help until you can come in to the office for a repair appointment.
Using a pencil eraser, push the poking wire down or place wax on it so it is no longer poking. Call us right away so we can trim or repair the wire.