Thankfully, true orthodontic emergencies are rare. But when they do occur we are available to help you. As a general rule, whenever you experience pain or discomfort please call our office. We can assist you over the phone or schedule a convenient appointment to address your concerns. Same-day emergency appointments are always available if needed.
You might be surprised to learn that in most cases you are able to solve many problems yourself temporarily until you can get to our office. If your braces are poking you, put soft wax on the piece that's sticking out. If the wire has slid to one side, you can pull it back to the other side with needle-nosed pliers or tweezers.
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, usually for 3-5 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 rinse. Dissolve one teaspoonful of salt in eight ounces of warm water, and rinse your mouth vigorously a few times a day. If the tenderness is severe, take ibuprofen or acetaminophen as needed.
The lips, cheeks and tongue may become irritated for 1-2 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 brace is loose and still attached to the wire, you should leave it in place and put wax on it if needed for comfort. If you have a situation where you must cut the wire or slide a bracket off the wire, you can use a fingernail clipper. Please call our office on the next business day to schedule a repair appointment.
Loose or Pokey 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. Use a pencil ereaser to adjust the wire and put it in a comfortable position temporarily.
If you have a true orthodontic emergency and are experiencing pain or discomfort after-hours (evenings, weekends or holiday) you can call our doctors directly. Simply call our office and the voicemail message will contain the doctor's contact information. It is very rare that you will need to come to the office after-hours. The doctor can discuss how to releive your discomfort over the phone or via text message. Part of our commitment to unparalleled patient service is having our doctors directly handle the emergency call.