Here’s the good news: True orthodontic emergencies are rare. You might be surprised to learn that you can temporarily solve many problems yourself until you come to our office for an assessment and repair.
Call us right away if you experience severe pain or have a painful appliance problem you can't take care of yourself. We'll get you in to resolve the issue.
If you’re not sure if you’re having an emergency, give us a call! We’ll be glad to help you take the next best steps. We want to make sure any damage is repaired right away to avoid disruptions to your treatment timeline.
Here’s some examples of common problems and steps you can take on your own to manage them until you get in touch with us.
When you first get your braces on, you may feel general soreness in your mouth, and teeth may be tender when biting and chewing. Stick to a soft diet for three to five days until it’s comfortable to chew.
If the tenderness is severe, take anyhting you would normally take for a headache. But keep in mind...Aspirin, Ibuprofen (Motrin, Advil), and Naproxen Sodium (Naprosyn, Anaprox) actually slow tooth movement, so use these sparingly.
The lips, cheeks, and tongue may become irritated for one to two weeks as they acclimate to a new posture and the surface of the braces. We’ll show you how to put wax on the braces to ease this transition.
You can relieve irritated gums and other sore spots by rinsing your mouth with a warm saltwater mouthwash. Dissolve one teaspoon of salt in eight ounces of warm water and rinse your mouth vigorously, but don’t swallow.
Wearing the headgear improperly can cause discomfort. Refer to the instructions Dr. Mike provided to make sure you have it on correctly. Headgear should hurt less the more it's worn, so be sure you get in the prescribed number of hours.
If the facebow (metal piece) is bent, please call our office for assistance.
Place wax on any part of an appliance or wire that is poking you. You can also try pushing the poking wire down using a pencil eraser.
If your bracket or band is still attached to the wire, leave it in place and put wax on it for comfort until you come to the office for a repair. If the bracket or band can be removed easily, save it in a plastic bag or envelope to bring to your appointment.
If a wire has shifted to one side, use tweezers or needle-nose pliers to pull it back into place and slide it into the tube on the back tooth. You can secure the wire in place by tying 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. Place wax on the end of the wire if it’s still sharp.
If you lose an aligner please try to move on to the next aligner in the series. If it's too tight give us a call and we will discuss your options.