Emergency Care

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 you can't take care of yourself. You may be able to solve some problems yourself until you can get into our office. See our guide below for suggestions on how to termporarily fix some minor issues.

General soreness

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. Remember to practice good oral hygiene as this will help reduce discomfort. Stick to a soft diet until your teeth do not hurt to chewing. 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. An alternative would be an anesthetic oral gel or rinse such as Orabase or Zilactin. 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) can slow tooth movement if used repeatedly for extended periods of time.  

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 irritation. 

 

Lost or Broken Retainers or Aligners

A lost or broken retainer is somethng that may happen.  It is best if you call our office as soon as the break or loss occurs so we can schedule an appointment. Bring the broken retainer and any other retainers you may have along with you for the appointment.  

 

Loose bracket

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.

 

Loose wire

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, 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.

 

Poking wire

Using a pencil eraser, push the poking wire down or place wax on it so that it is no longer poking.