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Emergency Care

Emergency Care

Actual orthodontic emergencies are unlikely, but if they do strike, we are here to help. As a general guideline, you should contact our office if you are in excruciating pain or have an unpleasant appliance problem that you are unable to resolve on your own. We’ll be able to set up a meeting to address the issue.

You might be surprised to find that until you can come to our office, you can actually address many difficulties yourself. If you get a loose piece, place it in a plastic bag or envelope and bring it with you to your next visit. If your braces are poking you, apply soft wax to the protruding piece. If the wire has slipped to one side, use needle-nosed pliers to draw it back to the other side, then replace it in the tube on the back tooth.

After you’ve relieved your discomfort, you must contact our office as soon as possible to make an appointment to fix the problem. Allowing your appliance to be damaged for a lengthy period may cause your treatment to be disrupted and prolonged.

General soreness

Emergency Care

For three to five days after getting your braces on, you may have overall discomfort in your mouth and teeth that are susceptible to biting forces. Stick to a soft diet until chewing no longer hurts your teeth. Rinse your mouth with a warm saltwater mouthwash to alleviate irritated gums and other sensitive places. Rinse your mouth thoroughly with one teaspoon of salt dissolved in eight ounces of warm water. Take Acetaminophen (Tylenol) or whichever pain reliever you regularly use if the discomfort is severe. Because aspirin, ibuprofen (Motrin, Advil), and naproxen sodium (Naprosyn, Anaprox) decrease tooth movement, they should not be used when wearing braces.

For one to two weeks, the lips, cheeks, and tongue may feel uncomfortable as they adopt a new posture and adjust to the braces’ surface. You may reduce this pain by putting wax on the braces. We’ll show you how to do it.


Emergency Care

When you don’t wear the headgear as directed by your orthodontist, you may experience pain. Please follow your orthodontist’s directions carefully. Please contact our office for help if the facebow (metal piece) is bent. The headgear should get less painful the longer you wear it, so make sure you get in the recommended number of hours.

Loose appliance

Emergency Care

The best solution is to temporarily put some wax on the area of your device that is poking you.

Loose bracket

Emergency Care

If your bracket or band is still linked to the wire, keep it in place and cover it with wax if necessary for comfort. Place the bracket or band in an envelope and store it to bring to your next visit if it can be readily removed.

Loose wire

Emergency Care

Try to reposition your wire with a pair of tweezers or needle-nosed pliers. It’s fine to tie the wire into place with floss: wrap the floss around the bracket in place of the missing colored o-ring. If you can’t get the wire into a comfortable position and covering the end with wax isn’t working, snip the wire behind the final tooth to which it is secured, using a small fingernail clipper as a last option. If the wire’s end is still sharp, apply wax to it.

Poking wire

Emergency Care

Push the protruding wire down with a pencil eraser or cover it with wax to make it stop poking.