Most problems you may encounter in your orthodontic care are not considered a true orthodontic emergency and can be handled at home. Proper care of your braces will help avoid most emergencies. Avoid eating sticky and hard foods.
An emergency appointment may be made when there is severe pain or bleeding that you can’t take care of. Call or Text our office during business hours, and Email [email protected] after hours, and we will provide you with additional information.
Problems and Solutions
- Invisalign Patients: If you lose or break the last aligner, call us ASAP so we can order a replacement. If you have run out of aligners, do NOT stop wearing them. Switch to nighttime wear (10 hours a day) to hold like a retainer.
- Pokey Wire: If the wire is a little bit long please put some wax on it for temporary relief. If the wire is quite long and is really poking into the cheek or gums then you want to cut that wire. Almost all the orthodontic wires can be clipped with a nail or cuticle clipper. Usually NEW nail or cuticle clippers works better. Please wash or rinse it in alcohol before you use it in your mouth. We recommend to cut it as far back as possible and in between two brackets, behind last tooth to which it is securely fastened. Then you are going to slide out the wire with your fingers or tweezers from the back. You will have a few brackets than don’t have a wire and that’s not a problem. Please let us know about this (by text or email) so we can get prepared for your next visit.
- Protruding Wire: If a wire protrudes or is irritating, try to place wire back in place with tweezers, use a blunt instrument ( eraser end of a pencil, Q-tip or a cotton swab) to push the wire so that it is flat against the tooth. If the wire cannot be moved into a comfortable position, cover the end with relief wax, a cotton ball, or a piece of sugarless gum. If that is not possible, clip the wire with fingernails clippers behind last tooth to which it is securely fastened. Reduce the possibility of the patient swallowing the snipped piece of wire by using folded tissue or gauze around the area.
- Broken Bracket: If you break a bracket and is the very last bracket a lot of times that bracket will fall off. If the wire is bothering you, we will recommend to clip the wire with a nail clipper. If the bracket if dangling or hanging loose on the wire is okay, if it’s moving around and bothering you can put wax on it to stabilize it.
- Broken or Lost Retainer: It is not an emergency, let us know asap, we will 3d print your models from when we originally made your retainers and make your clear Essix retainers. They will only fit if your teeth haven’t moved or shifted. If you have a bonded/fixed retainer that has come off, save it and wear your clear retainer every single night. If it is loose, you can place some wax around any irritating areas.
- Discomfort: If your teeth become sore after a visit, we generally recommend that you take an analgesic such as Acetaminophen (e.g., Tylenol) or ibuprofen (e.g., Advil, Motrin). This, of course, is the protocol only if there are no known allergies to these medications. Rinsing with Peroxyl mouthwash or a cup of salt warm water can also be soothing.
- Sores: Some patients are susceptible to episodes of mouth sores. They may be precipitated or exacerbated by an irritation from braces. This is not an emergency, but it may be very uncomfortable for the patient . Prompt relief may be achieved by applying a small amount of topical anesthetic ( such as Orabase or Ora-Gel).
- Spacing: If you notice some small spaces developing between your teeth while you have braces on, don’t panic! This is not an emergency , and is usually normal and expected as teeth move into different positions, particularly in the early stages of treatment. They will be closed eventually.
- Missing Separators: If a rubber spacer or separator falls out, this is not and emergency and we recommend you to call or text us during business hours.
- Food Caught Between Teeth: This is not an emergency, but can be uncomfortable. It is easily fixed with a piece of dental floss, toothpick, or a small interproximal brush to dislodge the food caught between teeth and braces.
- Gum Bleeding: If you experience any gum bleeding when brushing or flossing, that usually means there is a local area of inflammation. Continue to keep the area clean by brushing, flossing, and rinsing with Peroxyl or Orajel Mouthwash. If a particular area is painful or you notice a bump of any sort, you should address this to your orthodontist as soon as possible.
Are You Experiencing An Orthodontic Emergency?
We are here to help! Please contact us if there is severe pain or bleeding that you can’t take care of.