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 may be able to temporarily solve many problems yourself until you schedule an appointment with our office. When working with your appliances, you need to know the names of the parts of your appliances so you are able to identify what part is broken or out of place. After alleviating your discomfort, it is very important that you still call our office as soon as possible to schedule a time to repair the problem. Allowing your appliance to remain damaged for an extended period of time may result in disruptions in your treatment plan.
For a poking ligature wire, or pigtail, place a small piece of a wet cotton ball to help alleviate the discomfort. Call the office for a repair appointment.
Loose bracket or band
If your bracket or band is still attached to the wire, you should leave it in place and put wax on it to stabilize it. A small piece of a wet cotton ball may also help make you more comfortable. Call the office for a repair appointment.
Using a tweezer, try to put your wire back into place. If doing this and using wax doesn’t 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 or a small piece of wet cotton on it.
If your appliance is poking you, place wax on the offending part of your appliance. Call the office for a repair appointment.
Headgear/Facebow does not fit
Sometimes headgear discomfort is caused by not wearing the headgear as instructed by your orthodontist. If the facebow is bent, please call our office for assistance. Surprisingly, the headgear may hurt less as it’s worn more, so be sure you’re getting in the prescribed hours.
When you get your braces on, you may feel general soreness in your mouth, and teeth may be tender to biting pressures for three to five days. This can be relieved by rinsing your mouth with a warm saltwater mouthwash. Dissolve one teaspoonful of salt in 8 ounces of warm water, and rinse your mouth vigorously. Placing Orabase on the affected area may help; this can be found in a pharmacy. If the tenderness is severe, take whatever you normally take for headache or similar pain.
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. With the archwires, you may feel some soreness of your teeth for one to four days. Your lips and cheeks may need one to two weeks to get used to the braces on your teeth.