Orthodontic Emergency Care
True orthodontic emergencies are very rare, but when they do occur we are available to you. As a general rule, you should call the office when you experience severe pain or when you have a painful appliance problem that 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 temporarily solve many problems yourself until you schedule an appointment with our office. When working with your appliances, you need to know the names of the parts of your appliances so you are able to identify what part is broken or out of place. 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 in your treatment plan.
The following are some common orthodontic problems and solutions:
Using a pencil eraser, push the poking wire down or place wax on it to alleviate the discomfort.
Loose Bracket or Band
If your bracket or band is still attached to the wire, you should leave it in place and put wax on it. If the wire comes out entirely, wrap the bracket with a tissue.
Using tweezers, try to place your wire back into place. If doing this and using wax does not 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 your discomfort continues, place wax on it.
If your appliance is poking you, place wax on the offending part of your appliance.
Headgear Does Not Fit
Sometimes headgear discomfort is caused by not wearing the headgear as instructed by Drs. Berkman or Shapiro. Please refer to the instructions provided by Drs. Berkman or Shapiro. If the facebow is bent, please call our office for assistance. Surprisingly, the headgear may hurt less if it’s worn more, so be sure you’re getting in the prescribed hours.
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. This can be relieved by rinsing your mouth with a warm salt water mouthwash. Dissolve one teaspoonful of salt in 8 ounces of warm water, and rinse your mouth vigorously. Placing Orabase on the affected area may help; this can be found in your local pharmacy. If the tenderness is severe, take aspirin or whatever you normally take for headache or similar pain.
The lips, cheeks and tongue may also become irritated for one to two weeks as they toughen and become accustomed to the surface of the braces. You can put wax on the braces to lessen this. We’ll show you how!
Remember, after alleviating your discomfort, it is still very important that you call our office as soon as possible so that we may determine whether a repair visit is necessary or not.