True orthodontic emergencies are rare, however, if they do occur we are always available for you. Please call our office immediately if you are experiencing severe pain or an appliance problem you cannot resolve yourself. If it is an after-hours emergency you will be directed to an emergency phone number. The more specific you are with what is occurring the better we are able to assist. We have provided a diagram of the basic components of braces should you ever need them as a reference.
Poking metal can generally be tucked away from the gums or cheeks using a pencil eraser or Q-tip. If a wire needs to be cut you may use a clean fingernail clipper. If the irritation continues wax may be placed over the irritant.
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 chewing. Irritated gums and other sore spots can be relieved by rinsing your mouth with a warm salt-water rinse. Dissolve one teaspoonful of salt in eight ounces of warm water, and rinse your mouth vigorously. An alternative (better tasting) mouthwash is the Healthy Gums Rinse by The Natural Dentist. Placing Orabase on the affected area may also help relieve discomfort; Orabase can be found in a pharmacy. 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 wearing braces.
Loose Bands or Brackets
If your band or bracket becomes loose and is still attached to the bracket, please leave it in place if possible. If it comes out, place it in a small bag. Call our office right away and we will schedule you to have the appliance repaired. If you have an appointment in the next few days please call ahead of time to ensure we have adequate time to repair it the same day.
Loose Color Ties
Tiny rubber bands known as ligatures hold the wire to the bracket. If a ligature should come off, you may be able to put it back in place using sterile tweezers. When one ligature pops off or breaks, others may follow. Be sure to examine all ligatures. Missing or broken ligatures should be brought to our attention.
A broken bracket is not an emergency. Usually, the bracket will remain attached to the wire but it may slide or rotate on the wire. If this happens, place the bracket back in place and apply orthodontic wax to lessen irritation to the inside of the mouth. Please call our office to schedule a repair on the next business day.