How to Handle Orthodontic Emergencies
Please use the information on this page to learn how to treat minor emergencies at home, so you can eliminate extra trips to the office. It is important to remember that when a bracket is loose or a wire sticks out, you do not have to come to the office right away unless you are in pain or experience severe discomfort.
Wire is Completely Out
Occasionally during treatment, the wire could completely come out of the tube. If this happens, try to push it back into the tube with your hands or tweezers. If you are unable to, you may use clean nail clippers to cut the wire and remove any loose pieces. If you are unsuccessful and the wire continues to bother you, give us a call.
Loose or Broken Bracket
Eating hard food or playing with your braces usually causes breakage. This isn’t an emergency, and if you are not experiencing discomfort or pain, you don’t need to come in to the office outside of your scheduled appointment. Simply leave a loose or broken bracket in place and cover with wax for comfort if needed.
Poking Steel Tie
We sometimes use steel ligatures to ligate the wire to the teeth. Occasionally, eating hard food may dislodge the ends of the steel ligature and irritate lips and cheeks. To fix this problem, you can use the end of a pencil eraser to push the end of the steel tie back into place. You may also use wax to cover the ends to keep the wire from irritating your cheeks.
Wire Ends Poking
Occasionally, the wire in braces can stick out and irritate cheeks. Use a ball of wax on the wire for relief. If the rubbing continues, you can also use clean nail clippers (cleaned with rubbing alcohol) and cut the wire yourself. If you are unable to resolve the issue and the wire keeps bothering you, please contact us.
Lost Elastic Over Bracket
If you notice that one of your elastic ties from around the bracket is missing, do not be alarmed as this is not an emergency. Keep your regular scheduled appointment, and we will replace the ties when you come in.
Ulcers inside the Mouth During Treatment
It is normal to experience some small sores or ulcerations on the inside of your lips or cheeks. Your mouth needs to get used to the braces, and those ulcerations will begin to disappear on their own.
If you find that they continue to irritate you, let your doctor know. You may use wax to cover the edges of the hooks on the brackets that may be causing those ulcers. Orabase is available at your local pharmacy to assist with ulcer pain.
If your Invisalign® & 3M Clear Aligners tray is irritating your gums or causing discomfort, simply use a new and clean nail file to smooth any rough edges. If you still experience soreness, please contact our office.
Tooth Discomfort and Soreness
Your teeth may become sore after your braces are placed or you have an adjustment. The soreness usually lasts for about three days. If you experience discomfort, eat a diet of soft foods and take Tylenol or Advil to reduce any soreness.
Accidents While Wearing Braces
If you get into an accident during your treatment and your teeth were affected, call us immediately to schedule an appointment to have them examined or visit an emergency room.
If you have a loose expander / appliance or trauma to the mouth, please contact us immediately.
Actual orthodontic emergencies are rare. Our goal is to make orthodontic treatment as comfortable as possible. If you need additional advice, don’t hesitate to call us. If it is after hours, please call 484-945-0336