In orthodontics, true emergencies are very rare, but when you experience pain in the mouth or are bothered by an uncomfortable appliance, it can certainly feel like an emergency. We understand that these situations do arise from time to time, and we have provided you with some tips for temporarily managing the problem until you can schedule an office visit with us.
Even if you are able to resolve the issue, we ask that you still contact our office to let us know. Leaving a damaged orthodontic appliance in the mouth for an extended period of time can derail your treatment progress or contribute to future problems.
After braces have been placed on the teeth or adjusted, it’s normal to experience some generalized soreness or tenderness for 3-5 days. To soothe the gums, try swishing with warm salt-water, Healthy Gums Rinse by The Natural Dentist, or you may purchase the topical anesthetic Orabase from the pharmacy. For moderate discomfort, we recommend the medicines that you would normally take for a headache: ibuprofen, Tylenol, naproxen, or aspirin.
We’ll also teach you how to apply wax to your braces to protect your tongue, lips, and cheeks from irritation.
You could experience discomfort if your headgear or face bow (metal piece) is not worn as instructed. To prevent this, be sure to wear your headgear for the recommended number of hours.
A loose bracket (still connected to the wire) can be temporarily secured with wax. A bracket or band that is removed easily should be placed in an envelope and saved for your next appointment.
You can try putting the wire back into place with tweezers or needle-nosed pliers. Or, try tying some floss around the bracket if the colored o-ring has been lost. If the wire cannot be secured or covered with wax, you may clip the loose end with a small pair of nail clippers as a last resort. Just clip it behind the last tooth where it is securely fastened and cover the end with a piece of wax if there is a sharp edge.
A wire that pokes out at the end can be pushed down with the end of a pencil eraser or covered with wax for comfort.
More questions about orthodontic emergencies? Call our office today!