True orthodontic emergencies are very rare; but when they do occur, we are available to you. As a general rule, you should call the office when you experience severe pain, or when you have a painful appliance problem that 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 can temporarily solve many problems yourself until you can get in the office to get the situation resolved.
The following are some common orthodontic problems and solutions:
Poking Wire: By using a pencil eraser, push the poking wire down or place wax on it to alleviate the discomfort.
Loose Bracket: If your bracket is still attached to the wire, you should leave it in place and put wax on it. If the wire bracket comes off completely, place it in a ziploc bag, and save it to bring to your next appointment.
Loose Wire: Using tweezers, try to place it back into place. If doing this and using 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 your discomfort continues, place wax on it.
Loose Appliance: If your appliance is poking you, place wax on the offending part of your appliance.
General Soreness: When you get your braces on, you may feel general soreness in your mouth and your teeth may be tender to biting pressures for three to five days. This can be relieved by rinsing your mouth with a warm saltwater rinse. Dissolve one teaspoonful of salt in 8oz of warm water and rinse your mouth vigorously. Placing an oral numbing gel may also help. If the tenderness is severe, take ibuprofen or what you generally take for aches and pains.
The lips, cheeks and tongue may also become irritated for one to two weeks as they toughen and become accustomed to the surface of the braces. You can put wax on the braces to lessen this. We are always happy to show you how!