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. When working with your appliances, you need to know the names of the parts of your appliances so you are able to identify what part is broken or out of place. 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 in your treatment plan.
When you get your braces on, 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, take aspirin, tylenol or whatever you normally take for a headache or similar pain.
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!
- Wax Application: If you have a pokey wire or a bracket is rubbing, wax is the number one option to turn to. When applying wax it is most effective to have a clean and dry area. First brush your teeth, and dry the area using a Q-tip or gauze. Hold your cheek away from your teeth to ensure the area stays dry. Roll a pea size amount of wax and press wax firmly onto the bracket or wire. In the event you do not have wax on hand sugarless gum can also be used in a similar manner.
If your appliance is poking you, place wax on the offending part of your appliance.
If your bracket or band is still attached to the wire you should leave it in place and put wax on it. If the wire comes out entirely wrap the bracket with a tissue to bring in. In either event, call our office to advise us and make an appointment for the next clinic day.
Generally it is most common to have the wire slip out of the molar brackets. This can be fixed by carefully using tweezers to re-insert the wire into the bracket slot. If you are unable to get the wire back into the bracket slot you can also use the tweezers to move the wire under the bracket into a comfortable position. To ensure this is safely done have an adult help you, and as a last resort use small fingernail clippers to clip the wire behind the last tooth to which the wire is securely fastened.
Due to shifting of the wire one side can be longer and cause discomfort. You can ease the pain by using a pencil eraser and pushing the pokey wire back into the slot or pushing it down around the bracket. If you are unable to put the wire back into place, apply wax to alleviate some discomfort. Follow the instruction above on how to apply the wax.