Emergency Care

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 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 may be able to solve many problems yourself temporarily until you can get to our office. If there is a loose piece that you can remove, put it in a small plastic bag and bring it with you to your next appointment. If your braces are poking you, put soft wax or sugar free chewing gum on the piece that's sticking out. If the wire has slid to one side, you can try to move it back to the other side. 

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.


General soreness

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 mouthwash. Dissolve one teaspoonful of salt in eight ounces of warm water, and rinse your mouth vigorously (do not swallow the salt water!).

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 what 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.

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!


Loose appliance

If your appliance (retainer, expander, etc.) is loose, broken, or not fitting correctly, please contact our office to schedule an appointment to check your appliance.   


Loose bracket

Please call our office to let us know that you have a loose bracket or band.  It may be necessary to replace the bracket or band before your next scheduled appointment. If your bracket or band is still attached to the wire, you should leave it in place and place wax on it if needed for comfort. If the bracket or band can be removed easily, place it in a small plastic bag and bring it to your next appointment. 


Loose wire

Occasionally, a "door" on a bracket can open unexpectedly, and the wire can become loose. It is best to have us correct this problem. Please call and alert us to the problem. Attempt to place the wire in a comfortable position. If needed, try covering the wire with wax or sugar free chewing gum until you are able to come into our office.


Poking wire

Using a pencil eraser, push the poking wire down or place wax on it so that it is no longer poking.  Please let us know if you need assistance or need to be seen before your next scheduled appointment.

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