Emergency Care

True orthodontic emergencies are rare, but when they occur we are available to you. As a general rule, you should call our office as soon as 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.

You might be surprised to learn that you may be able to solve many problems yourself temporarily until you can get to our office. Please read below and we will show you some techniques for doing this at home. If there is a loose piece that you can remove, put it in a plastic bag or envelope and bring it with you to your next appointment. 

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 to your treatment plan.


General soreness

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. 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 mouthwash. Dissolve one teaspoonful of salt in eight ounces of warm water, and rinse your mouth vigorously. If the tenderness is severe, take Acetaminophen (Tylenol), or Ibuprofen (Motrin, Advil), or whatever you normally take for headache or similar pain. 

The lips, cheeks, and tongue may become irritated for one to two weeks as they learn a new posture and become accustomed to the surface of the braces. You can put wax on the braces to lessen this. We'll show you how!


Loose bracket

If a bracket or band becomes loose and is still attached to the wire, it is usually not a problem as far as discomfort, but you should call the office for a repair. You can always place wax on it to keep it more secure to the wire until it can be repaired.  If the bracket or band is causing you discomfort, and can be removed easily, place it in an envelope or baggie and call the office for a repair appointment. Please bring the broken bracket or band with you. 


Loose wire

Using a pair of tweezers or needle-nosed pliers, try to put your wire back into place.  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. If you have had to clip a wire, please call the office and we will make you an appointment to get this wire replaced. 


Poking wire

Sometimes smaller wires are used around the bracket themselves to hold the larger, archwire into the bracket. If this small wire should start to poke you,using a pencil eraser, push the poking wire down or place wax on it so that it is no longer poking.


If your appliance is poking you, place wax on the offending part. If this is still not comfortable or this makes your retainer not fit properly in the mouth, discontinue wear until you can get scheduled in the office. If the retainer looks to have been bent or distorted in anyway, discontinue wear until you can be seen in the office. Sometimes newly erupting teeth may affect the fit of a retainer, but is easily fixed in the office. Just give us a call and we can usually trim the retainer so that you can continue with wearing your retainer. The key is to call us as soon as you notice a problem so that there is no shifting of your teeth. 

If you have a BONDED retainer that has come loose or come completely out, call the office immediately for a repair visit. If it's loose, wear your Invisible retainer FULL TIME until your appointment with us. If it's completely out, save the retainer in a baggie and bring it with you to your repair appointment and wear your invisible retainer FULL TIME until your appointment with us. There may be some glue on your teeth where the retainer was, but your retainer will still fit over this and we will get that removed at your visit. 


You will have some tooth soreness the first few day's of Headgear wear, this is normal. Continued discomfort is generally caused by not wearing the headgear as instructed by your orthodontist. Please refer to the instructions provided by your orthodontist. If the facebow (metal piece) is bent, please call our office for assistance. The headgear should hurt less the more it's worn, so be sure you get in the prescribed number of hours.

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