Emergency Care in Orthodontics
Helping you stay prepared.
While we don’t expect orthodontic emergencies to occur, in the event that one does, our office is here to help! In general, you should never hesitate to contact our office if you are experiencing discomfort or are having trouble with an appliance that you cannot resolve. We will schedule an appointment right away to attend to the problem.
Fortunately, most orthodontic issues can be addressed on your own until you are able to get into the office. If you have any loose pieces from your appliances, the best action is to place it in a small plastic bag and bring it with you to your next appointment. If you are having trouble with your braces or wires irritating your cheeks, you can try putting wax over the problem spot. If your archwire has slid over, you can try gently pulling it back with needle-nose pliers and placing it back in the tube on the last tooth. We advise making sure the pliers are cleaned!
When you have been able to gain some relief from your discomfort, please contact our office. It is crucial that we are able to repair any problems as quickly as possible. When a patient allows a significant amount of time to pass with damage to their appliances, it often results in a disruption or delay of the treatment plan. We know that the last thing a patient wants is extended time in braces.
It is normal to feel general soreness and discomfort after your braces are put on, as well as after routine appointments. Your teeth may feel tender to biting pressures for a period of time (generally not more than a few days). We recommend that you eat a soft diet until your teeth are no longer tender. While you are experiencing discomfort, you may also try an over-the-counter Acetaminophen-based pain reliever such as Tylenol. Anti-inflammatory pain relievers such as Motrin or Advil slow tooth movement, so it is best to avoid those while you are under orthodontic care.
You may find that your lips, cheeks, and tongue become irritated for the first couple weeks after you are fitted with your braces or other new appliances while you become accustomed to the additions in your mouth. It is recommended to use wax to help reduce this kind of discomfort as well. You may also be able to find some relief by rinsing with a warm saltwater mouthwash solution. You can make this by dissolving one teaspoonful of salt into 8 oz of warm water. Additionally, you can try using a topical pain relief gel such as Orabase, which can be found at your local pharmacy.
Some Common Orthodontic Emergencies and their Remedies:
If your appliance is loose and comes out, place it in a small plastic bag and bring it to the office as soon as possible so it can be recemented.
If you have a bracket or band that is loose enough that it can be easily removed, do so and place it in a small plastic bag for safekeeping until your next appointment. If the bracket or band is attached to the wire, however, it is best to leave it in place and use wax to ease any discomfort if necessary until it can be repaired.
If you experience a loose wire, try to replace the wire into position using a pair of needle-nosed pliers, or tweezers. Use wax as needed for comfort. As a very last resort, you may use a fingernail clipper to cut the wire behind the last tooth if it is poking you and you cannot get relief with wax.
You can use a pencil eraser to push the wire down or put wax on it for relief.
Contact Pinecrest Orthodontics to Learn More!
If you are a patient, and having trouble with your braces or other appliances, give us a call right away so that we can help. If you are considering braces and would like to schedule a free consultation, please contact us to see what the Pinecrest Orthodontic Difference means. We are the local Pinecrest orthodontic team, and also service the communities of Palmetto Bay, Cutler Bay, Kendall, and South Miami!