True orthodontic emergencies are rare, but when they occur we are available to you. As a general rule, you should call our office when you experience severe pain or have a painful appliance problem you can't take care of yourself. We'll be able to schedule an appointment to address the immediate problem.
You might be surprised to learn that you may be able to solve many problems yourself temporarily until you can get to our office. If there is a loose piece that you can remove, put it in a plastic bag or envelope and bring it with you to your next appointment. If your braces are poking you, put soft wax on the piece that's sticking out. If the wire has slid to one side, you can pull it back to the other side with needle-nosed pliers, replacing it in the tube on the back tooth.
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 to your treatment plan.
When you get your braces on, it is normal to feel general soreness in your mouth, and teeth may be tender to biting pressures for several days. Stick to a soft diet until your teeth do not hurt to chewing. Irritated gums and other sore spots can be relieved by rinsing your mouth with a warm salt-water mouthwash. Dissolve one teaspoonful of salt in eight ounces of warm water, and rinse your mouth vigorously. Placing Colgate Orabase on the affected area may also help relieve discomfort; Colgate Orabase can be found in a pharmacy. Assuming your medical history allows you to do so (no allergies to over-the-counter pain medications, no medical conditions restricting the use of over-the-counter pain medications), if the tenderness is severe, you may take Acetaminophen (Tylenol), Ibuprofen (Motrin, Advil), or Naproxen Sodium (Aleve, Naprosyn) as directed. Taking whatever you normally take for headaches or similar pain is acceptable. Please ask our team if you have any questions about your medical history and use of over-the-counter pain medications before taking the medication.
It is normal for the lips, cheeks, and tongue to become irritated for a few weeks as they learn a new posture and become accustomed to the surface of the braces (just as a finger develops a callus over time). You can put wax on the braces to lessen this. We'll show you how!
If your appliance is poking you, place wax on the offending part.
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, place it in an envelope and save it to 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 doesn't 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 the end of the wire is still sharp place wax on it.
Using a pencil eraser, push the poking wire down or place wax on it so that it is no longer poking.
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