Fortunately, true orthodontic emergencies are rare. Many problems can be remedied at home. If you have a situation that you cannot resolve on your own, please call our office so that we can schedule an appointment for you. Please do not come directly to our office without calling first. Calling allows us to create a time to see you without unnecessary delays. This section can help you resolve minor problems you may encounter during your orthodontic treatment.
When you phone our office with an emergency, please be prepared to describe which part is broken or out of place. This will help us know what is needed to help you.
Loose Brackets or Bands
Call our office as soon as possible if a bracket or band becomes loose. You may need to cut a wire or slide the bracket off a wire if this occurs at night or over the weekend. In case of an emergency where you need to cut a wire, you may use fingernail clippers that have been washed and sterilized in alcohol. Make sure to hold the wire that you are cutting securely so that it does not injure the patient. Please contact our office during our next work day even if you have an appointment already scheduled.
Discomfort caused by a wire can sometimes be resolved by pushing the wire away from the irritated area with a cotton swab or eraser. The small tie wires that hold the archwire to the braces are soft and pushing on them will not cause damage. If the wire will not move, you may cover the wire with some of the wax provided or a small piece of cotton. If necessary, you can cut the wires as described in the section above.
Lost Separators or Spacers
If a separator or spacer is lost, please contact our office so that we may advise you on whether it should be replaced and, if so, when it should be replaced. Usually separators come out because the space they are designed to create has developed.
Soreness and Loose Teeth
Immediately after braces are placed and routine adjustments are made, some soreness and looseness of teeth is normal. You may take acetaminophen (Tylenol), ibuprofen (Advil) or other non-aspirin pain relievers if needed. Holding warm salt water in the sore area of the mouth can also be helpful. Exercising with the bite wafers we provide can help immediately after your appointment.