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. Allowing your appliance to remain damaged for an extended period of time may result in disruptions in your treatment plan.
What to do in case of emergency
Call our office as soon as possible if you break or loosen any of your appliances. Please do not come directly to the office – by calling us, you will allow us to create a time to see you. Even if you have a regular appointment scheduled, call us immediately to notify us if you need an appliance repaired.
When you get your braces on and when routine adjustments are complete, 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 saltwater mouthwash. Dissolve one teaspoonful of salt in eight ounces of warm water, and rinse your mouth vigorously. Placing Orabase on the affected area may help; this can be found in a pharmacy. If the tenderness is severe you may take acetaminophen or other non-aspirin pain relievers while you adjust to your new braces. A warm wash cloth or heating pad may reduce the soreness in your jaws.
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!
Loose brackets or bands
If your bracket or band is still attached to the wire, you should leave it in place and put wax on it. The bracket may need to be re-fitted as soon as possible. Please call our office the next business day, so that we may schedule an appointment for you.
Sometimes discomfort caused by a wire on your braces can be resolved by moving the wire away from the irritated area with a cotton swab or eraser. If the wire will not move, try covering the end of it with a small piece of cotton or a small amount of wax. . If doing this and using wax doesn't help, as a last resort use a small fingernail clipper that have been washed and sterilized in alcohol to clip the wire behind the last tooth to which it is securely fastened. If your discomfort continues, place wax on it. If you cannot resolve the wire irritation, call our office for an appointment.
Do not worry about losing a separator, but call our office to see if it needs to be replaced.
Sometimes headgear discomfort is caused by not wearing the headgear as instructed by Dr. Julia. Please refer to the instructions provided by Dr. Julia. If the facebow is bent, please call our office for assistance. Surprisingly, the headgear may hurt less as it's worn more, so be sure you're getting in the prescribed number of hours.