Orthodontic emergencies don't happen often, but when one does occur, it helps to know that Dr. M and her team are available to help you! If you are experiencing severe pain or you are having a problem with your appliance that can't be solved with home care, please call our office. We'll schedule an appointment as soon as possible so that we can solve the problem and relieve your discomfort.
Fortunately, many problems have temporary fixes that you can actually take care of on your own to hold you over until you can be seen. Here are some quick fixes for the most common problems:
• If you can remove a loose piece that’s hurting you, do so and put it into an envelope or a plastic baggie for safekeeping. Please bring the piece with you to your appointment.
• If you have a bracket or wire that’s poking you, put a little soft wax on the problematic area.
• If a wire happens to slide to one side, use needle-nosed pliers to pull it back where it belongs and replace it in the tube on your back tooth.
Keep in mind that these are temporary solutions, and it’s still important for you to call us as soon as you can so that we can schedule a time for your repairs. If you allow the problem to continue, you could cause delays in your treatment plan, extending the time you will need to wear braces.
It's common to feel some level of soreness when you first get braces. Your teeth may also feel tender when you bite and chew. This usually lasts about 3 to 5 days. Plan to stick to a soft diet until your teeth feel more comfortable.
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. For a better tasting alternative try the Healthy Gums Rinse by The Natural Dentist. Orabase is also helpful when placed on the affected area--this product can be found in most drugstores. If your discomfort is severe, take acetaminophen (Tylenol) or whatever you normally take for a headache. We don't recommend aspirin, ibuprofen (Motrin, Advil) or naproxen sodium (Naprosyn, Anaprox) as these can slow your tooth movement.
It will take time for your lips, cheeks, and tongue to adjust to the new appliance in your mouth. Until they do, you may experience some irritation. Wax placed over the top of your braces (where there's irritation) can help. We are happy to show you the right way to use it--just ask!
If your appliance is poking you, apply wax to the problematic piece.
If your bracket is still attached to the wire, leave it in place and apply wax if needed for comfort. If the bracket or band can be removed easily, place it in an envelope and bring to your next appointment.
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, as a last resort, you can 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.
Using a pencil eraser, push the poking wire down or place wax on it so that it is no longer poking.