Orthodontic emergencies are rare – but when they occur, we’re here for you! If you are experiencing severe pain or are having appliance problems that you can’t remedy, contact our office and we’ll schedule an appointment to resolve the issue.

Most patients don’t realize that they can resolve many of their own orthodontic problems in the interim before their appointment. If you encounter a loose piece of hardware that you can remove, place it in a plastic bag and bring it to your next appointment. If your braces are poking, apply soft wax to the problematic area. If the wire has slid to the side, pull it back into place with needle-nosed pliers and replace it in the tube on the back of the tooth.

Don’t forget to call and book an appointment as soon as you’ve alleviated the discomfort! Appliances that remain damaged for extended time periods can result in disruptions to the treatment time.

Types of First Aid

general-sorenessWhen your braces are installed, you may experience soreness in your mouth, and your teeth may feel tender when biting down. Adopt a soft diet until your teeth cease to hurt when you chew. Irritated gums can be relieved with a warm, salt-water rinse. Dissolve 1 teaspoonful of salt into eight ounces of warm water and rinse your mouth vigorously. Conversely, over-the-counter mouthwashes provide a better tasting solution. For acute discomfort, apply Orabase to the affected area and take Acetaminophen or a similar painkiller. Aspirin, Ibuprofen and Naproxen Sodium slow the tooth movement. Frequent use is not advisable.

The lips, cheeks and tongue can often become irritated for 1-2 weeks as they learn a new posture and become accustomed to the braces. Ask us how to apply wax to your braces to minimize discomfort.

headgearDiscomfort can also be caused by neglecting to wear headgear as instructed. Follow the directions provided by your orthodontist! If the facebow is bent, please call our office for assistance. The more the headgear is worn, the less it will hurt.
loose-applianceIf your appliance is poking, place wax on the offending area.

loose-bracketIf the bracket or band is attached to the wire, leave it in place and apply wax to the appliance as needed. If the bracket or band can be removed easily, place it in a plastic bag and bring to your next appointment.

loose-wireIf you encounter a loose wire, put it back into place with a pair of tweezers or needle-nosed pliers. If necessary, use a length of dental floss to tie the wire in place by looping it around the bracket in place of the missing o-ring. If repositioning and wax don’t alleviate the discomfort, use a fingernail clipper to clip the wire behind the last tooth to which it’s fastened.
poking-wireIf you’re experiencing a poking wire, use a pencil eraser to push it down or apply wax as needed.