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 that needs our help. We’ll be able to schedule an appointment to resolve the problem.
You might be surprised to learn that you may be able to solve many problems yourself temporarily until you can get to our office. Browse some of the most common emergency issues we see and learn how you can alleviate your discomfort, below.
When you get your braces on, you may feel general soreness in your mouth, and your 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 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. We’ll show you how!
If your appliance is poking you, place wax on the offending part and give our office a call to have it repaired as soon as possible.
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. 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.
Discard the cement and keep wearing your aligners as recommended. We will replace the attachment at your next normally scheduled visit!
However, 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.