Emergency Care

Orthodontic emergencies are rare, and most problems can be corrected either at home or during a scheduled appointment. If a situation occurs that you cannot resolve, call our office so we can schedule a repair appointment as soon as possible. Even if you have a regular appointment scheduled, call us immediately to schedule a repair. Here are some common problems you may encounter.

Wire Irritation

If a wire on your braces is causing irritation, try to reposition the wire with a cotton swab or eraser. If the wire will not move, try to cover the end with a small piece of wax or cotton. If the wire is causing pain by protruding into your gums, you can cut it with nail clippers or scissors. Just make sure to sterilize these in rubbing alcohol.

Loose Bracket

If the main wire or a bracket has come loose, call our office immediately to determine if the bracket needs to be refitted. We can make an appointment as soon as possible to inspect and correct the problem. If you must cut the wire and slide the bracket off, make sure to sterilize scissors or nail clippers before cutting the wire. Make an appointment with us for the next business day for a repair.

Lost Separator

This is fairly common during treatment and not a serious problem. If you lose a separator, call our office to find out if it needs to be replaced.

Sore Teeth

Some soreness or discomfort is common after initial braces fitting and routine adjustments. If you experience any pain, you can take acetaminophen or non-aspirin pain relievers. This should help reduce discomfort. You can also drink ice water to help relax the wire a bit. If your jaw is sore, warm washcloth application and warm salt water rinses can help alleviate discomfort.

Direct Injuries to the Mouth and Teeth

Following a direct injury to your mouth or teeth, whether undergoing orthodontic care or not, immediately ice the injured area and you should contact your regular dentist as soon as possible. Usually an x-ray of the involved tooth or teeth is needed to determine the extent of injury. If a tooth has been displaced, knocked out, or fractured, it is best to contact your family dentist first, since we may not have the necessary materials or anesthesia required to treat these injuries. If the appliances are dislodged or displaced, we will need to replace or adjust the appliances as soon as possible, after you have seen your general dentist, depending upon the comfort level of the patient.