True orthodontic emergencies are very rare and you might be surprised to learn that you’re able to temporarily solve most problems until you can schedule an appointment with our office.
Here is a list of possible orthodontic emergencies and suggested solutions:
Loose or broken brace:
- Should a brace, a turbo (clear stoppers put behind the front teeth) or any other appliance comes loose, please call our office to discuss the need for an emergency visit. We may choose to have you come in right away, or decide that it is not urgent to correct the situation until your next appointment.
- If you were instructed to wear elastics, and the brace that came off is supposed to be supporting an elastic, you should stop wearing all of your elastics until your next appointment.
- Because most patients have two turbos, losing one of them is usually not a concern. However, if both turbos are lost, you should call our office to schedule an appointment in order to prevent damage to your lower braces.
- If you still have your loose brace, please bring it with you at your next appointment.
- Occasionally, the end of a wire will work itself out of place and irritate your cheeks. In the early phases of treatment, as your teeth get straighter, the excess wire that is used to align your teeth has no place to go except at the back of your mouth. This may result in a wire poking and creating a sore. Fortunately, in most instances this can be resolved with the use of orthodontic wax. Roll a piece of wax into the size of a small pea, and make sure that you dry the inside of your mouth where the wax will be going. Press the ball of wax onto the wire and brace that are poking you, and the wax will protect the inside of your mouth.
- If the wax does not completely resolve your problem, you can cut the long end of the wire using a pair of nail clippers. Always use your fingers to protect the lips and cheeks while cutting the wire.
- Some metallic ties (little metallic wire holding the archwire in the braces) can come undone. These metallic ties can easily be pushed back in position with the eraser on the end of a pencil, or with a wet Q-tip.
- Please call our office to arrange an appointment at your convenience, if you require us to trim a long wire
Lost or broken appliance:
- If you have an appliance, such as an expander, that was lost or broken, please contact our office to schedule an appointment so that we can repair or replace it. If the appliance does not fit properly, simply stop turning the key until we can fix the problem.
Irritation of lips and cheeks:
- Sometimes new braces can be irritating to the mouth, especially when you are eating or talking. Your lips and cheeks will develop a callous over time, limiting the need for wax. Initially, wax can be useful in the areas that are particularly sensitive. Roll a piece of wax into the size of a small pea, and make sure that you dry the area around the brace that’s causing you discomfort. Then simply press the ball of wax onto the brace. If you accidentally swallow the wax, don’t worry – it’s harmless. Limiting the use of wax will accelerate the build up of the callous tissues.
General teeth sensitivity:
- It is normal to experience some discomfort with your braces several hours after they have been placed or after an adjustment visit. Most patients will have discomfort for a period of three to five days after the braces have been placed. The discomfort felt following a regular adjustment is usually for only a day or two, and it’s never as severe.
- The best way to reduce the discomfort associated with your braces is to take over-the-counter medication such as Advil. Please consult the label on the product for proper dosage.
- A soft diet can be beneficial for the first few days. Avoiding hard, chewy food will make your initial experience with braces much easier.
* In case of an emergency where none of these solutions seems to work, or you are experiencing pain, please call our office. We will make every effort to set up an appointment as soon as possible.