If you are experiencing a true life-threatening emergency (swelling, prolonged bleeding, breathing/airway issues and/or trauma to the head or neck), you should call 9-1-1 or go to the nearest emergency room immediately.
True orthodontic emergencies are rare, but when they do occur we are available to help you. As a general rule, you should call our office when you experience severe pain or have a painful appliance problem you cannot take care of yourself. We will be able to schedule an appointment as soon as possible to resolve the problem.
If there is a loose piece that you can remove, please put it in a plastic bag or envelope and bring it with you to your next appointment. Many issues can be temporarily relieved until you can get to our office. For example, if your braces are poking you, place soft wax (provided in your starter kit) on the piece that is sticking out. If the wire has slid to one side, you can shift it back with needle-nose pliers or tweezers, replacing it in the tube on the back tooth.
After alleviating your discomfort, it is very important that you call our office to let us know what happened and 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 and/or timing.
When you first get braces, you may feel general soreness in your mouth/lips, and your teeth may be tender to biting pressure for three to five days. Stick to a softer diet until your teeth do not hurt while chewing. Irritated gums and other sore spots can be relieved by rinsing your mouth with a warm salt-water mouthwash and brushing and flossing properly, as instructed. You can dissolve one teaspoonful of salt in eight ounces of warm water, and swish this mixure vigorously around the sore area(s). Placing OrabaseTM on the affected area may also help relieve discomfort. OrabaseTM and other pain-relieving mouth gels can be found in most pharmacies. If the tenderness is severe, take Acetaminophen (Tylenol) or whatever you normally take for headache or similar pain.
Your 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 discomfort. Over time your lips, cheeks and tongue will easily tolerate the new appliances.
Sometimes discomfort is caused by not wearing the headgear as instructed. The headgear usually hurts less the more its worn. Be sure you get in the prescribed number of hours of wear; please refer to the instructions provided to you. If the facebow (metal piece) is bent, please do not try to fix this yourself and call our office for assistance.
If your any part of your appliance is poking you while you are wearing it, place soft wax on the part that is bothering you.
If your bracket or band is still attached to the wire, you should leave it in place and put wax on it, if needed, for comfort. If the bracket or band can be removed easily, please place it in a plastic bag and bring to your next appointment.
Using a pair of tweezers or needle-nosed pliers, try to put your wire back into place. It is okay to use a piece of floss to tie the wire into place: tie the floss around the bracket in place of the missing colored o-ring. If you cannot put the wire into a comfortable position, and covering the end with wax does not help, as a last resort use a small fingernail clipper or wire cutter 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 make any changes to the bracket or wires, please call our office for assistance.
Using a pencil eraser, gently push the poking wire down or place wax on it so that it is no longer poking.