True orthodontic emergencies are rare, but when they occur we are available to you. As a general rule, you should call 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.
You might be surprised to learn that you may be able to solve many problems yourself temporarily until you can get to our office. 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. If your braces are poking you, put soft wax on the piece that's sticking out. If the wire has slid to one side, you can pull it back to the other side with needle-nosed pliers, replacing it in the tube on the back tooth.
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.
Any time you experience general soreness, try dissolving a teaspoon of salt in 8 oz of warm water and vigorously rinsing your mouth with the mixture. If you experience severe tenderness, take Ibuprofen or an over-the-counter pain reliever that you would normally take for a headache or similar pain.
Sometimes discomfort is 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.
If your appliance is poking you, place wax on the offending part.
Loose or broken bracket
If you have a broken bracket that is still attached to the wire, place a small piece of wax on it to secure the bracket. If the bracket is off entirely, place it in a Ziploc bag and bring it to your next scheduled appointment.
In the event that you have a loose wire in your braces, use clean tweezers to place the wire back into place, or slide it under the bracket hook.
Poking or broken wire
Poking wires can be uncomfortable, but you can use a pencil eraser at the end of a pencil to push it back into place. You can also place wax over the area to help alleviate the discomfort. If you have a broken wire, clip it with clean nail scissors or clippers, and place wax over the area for comfort.