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 when you have a painful appliance problem you can’t take care of yourself. We’ll be able to schedule an appointment to resolve the problem.
You might be surprised to learn that you can solve many problems yourself temporarily until you can get to our office. When working with your appliances, you need to know the names of their parts so you are able to identify which one is broken or out of place. 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 in your treatment plan.
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. This 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 then rinse your mouth vigorously. Placing Orabase on the affected area may help; this can be found in a pharmacy. If the tenderness is severe, take aspirin or whatever you normally take for a headache or similar pain.
The lips, cheeks, and tongue may also become irritated for one to two weeks as they toughen 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 headgear discomfort is caused by not wearing the headgear as instructed by your orthodontist. Please refer to the instructions provided by your orthodontist. If the facebow is bent, call our office for assistance. The headgear should hurt less the more it’s worn, so be sure you’re getting in the prescribed hours.
If any part of your appliance is poking you, place wax on the offending part.
If you notice that one of your brackets or bands has become loose and is still attached to the wire, you should leave it in place and put wax on it to provide stability. If the wire comes out entirely, wrap the bracket with a tissue.
Using a pair of tweezers, try to put your wire back into place and add wax for stability. If doing this and using 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 your discomfort continues, place wax on it.
Using a pencil eraser, push the poking wire down or into its original position until it no longer irritates the surrounding tissue. Place wax on it to alleviate the discomfort.