Orthodontic Emergencies

Typical Orthodontic Problems and How to Solve Them:

patient-education

Dr. Erin’s and Dr. Mona’s patients actually have very few problems with their appliances. However, the following lists some issues that occasionally arise.

Loose or Poking Arch wires:

If a wire causes irritation (not common), push the wire away from the area using the eraser end of a pencil or a Q-tip. If the wire cannot be tucked away, cover the end of the wire with a small piece of wax or a cotton ball until you can see us for an adjustment.

If the main wire has come out of the tube on the back tooth, attempt to reinsert the wire with a pair of needle-nose pliers or tweezers. If the wire feels sharp, place a piece of wax over the area. As a last resort, if you cannot come into our office, the wire can sometimes be cut with a small wire cutter or fingernail clipper close to the back of the last brace.

Loose Brackets or Bands:

If a bracket becomes loose, it usually remains connected to the main wire by a little colored rubber ring or a small steel ligature tie. Tweezers can be used to reposition the brace if it flips around the wire and becomes a source of irritation. Call our office and inform us of the problem. If a piece of your braces breaks, save the piece and call our office to schedule a repair visit.

Broken Retainer:

If a removable retainer cracks or breaks, remove the retainer from your mouth and call our office as soon as possible so that a replacement retainer can be made. We recommend not going more than 1 week without a retainer if you are still in the retention phase to prevent any undesired movement of teeth.

Sore Teeth or Sore Gums:

Take ibuprofen (Motrin/Advil) or acetaminophen (Tylenol) as directed on the container if your teeth are tender after your appointment. This is usually only an issue after braces are first placed. PLEASE CONSULT YOUR PHYSICIAN BEFORE TAKING ANY MEDICATIONS, PARTICULARLY IF YOU HAVE ANY HISTORY OF ALLERGIC REACTIONS.
Rinsing your mouth with a cup of warm water and half a teaspoon of salt can also be soothing.
If you have an emergency please contact our office, if it is after hours our answering service will assist you.