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 thaty you cannot take care of yourself. We will 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 plastic bag or envelope and bring it with you to your next appointment. If your braces are poking you, put soft wax on the piece that is sticking out. If the wire has slid to one side, you can pull it back to the other side with needle-nosed pliers, replacing it in the tube on the back tooth.
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, please keep in mind that for your convenience and the convenience of scheduled patients, it is not always possible to handle emergencies on a walk-in basis, so please call to schedule a follow-up appointment with us during normal business hours at your earliest convenience. Allowing your appliance to remain damaged for an extended period of time may result in disruptions to your treatment plan.
General soreness / Discomfort
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. If the tenderness is severe, take acetaminophen, ibuprofen, or whatever you normally take for a headache or similar pain.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. If you have a hard time getting the wax to stick, you can use sugarless chewing gum. Simply chew a piece, and stick it to the wire or bracket that is poking. Remember to take off gum or wax when eating, and reapply as needed.
Sometimes discomfort is caused by not wearing the headgear as instructed by Dr. Redd. If you have forgotten the instructions that were given to you, or if the facebow (metal piece) is bent, please do not hesitate to call our office.The headgear should hurt less the more it is worn, so be sure to wear it for the recommended number of hours.
Loose / Broken / Lost Retainers
If your retainers feel loose or are falling out, please give our office a call to schedule an appointment to have your retainers adjusted. If you have broken or lost your retainer, call the office as soon as you can, you will likely need new retainers made.
If your bracket or band is still attached to the wire, you should leave it in place. Feel free to use wax if necessary. If the bracket or band can be removed easily, save it in an envelope and bring it to 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, and covering the end with wax does not 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 or sugarless gum on it.
If a wire is poking you, try using a pencil eraser to push it down. You can also try sliding your wire to the other side to get it into the correct position again. If these suggestions fail, place wax or sugarless gum on the wire to alleviate any discomfort until you are able to get in to see us. Poking wires are an easy fix, and can normally be clipped after school.