True orthodontic emergencies are rare, but when they occur we are here to help you. As a general rule, you should contact our office when you experience severe pain or have a painful appliance problem you can’t take care of yourself. We’ll be able to schedule an appointment to resolve the problem. Following are some common emergencies that you may have. We have listed the ways you can temporarily resolve them until you see us.
When you get your braces on, your teeth may feel sore especially on biting for the next few days. Stick to a soft diet until your teeth do not hurt to chew. Irritated gums and other sore spots can be relieved by rinsing your mouth with a warm salt-water rinse. An alternative (better tasting) mouthwash is the Healthy Gums Rinse by The Natural Dentist. Placing Orajel on the affected area may also help relieve discomfort. Orajel can be found in a pharmacy or online. If the tenderness is severe, take Acetaminophen (Tylenol) or whatever you normally take for headache or similar pain. Aspirin, Ibuprofen (Motrin, Advil) and Naproxen Sodium (Naprosyn, Anaprox, Aleve) actually slow the tooth movement, so it is not advisable to use them frequently while wearing braces. Your lips, cheeks and tongue might get irritated for about the first 2 weeks as they get used to the braces. You can apply wax or Gishy Goo™ on the braces to decrease the irritation.
Don’t be surprised if wires or bands on your braces come loose. If this happens, please contact us as soon as possible so that we can check and repair your appliance. If any piece of your appliance comes off, be sure to save it and bring it to the office with you.
Using a pair of tweezers or needle-nosed pliers, try to put your wire back into place. It is okay to use a piece of floss to tie the wire into place: tie the floss around the bracket in place of the missing colored o-ring. If you cannot put the wire into a comfortable position, and covering the end with 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 the end of the wire is still sharp, place wax on it.
You can temporarily fix the loose wire by using the back of a spoon or the eraser end of a pencil to carefully and gently push the wire down. If the loose wire is causing irritation to your lips or cheeks, put wax or a wet cotton ball over the broken wire to relieve the pain.
If your teeth begin feeling a little loose, don’t worry; this is normal! Your braces must first loosen your teeth to move them into the right position. Once your teeth have been re-positioned, they will no longer be loose.
Don’t worry! Contact our office as soon as possible and we will give you some more.