Many orthodontic emergencies can be solved by carefully following these instructions:
Loose or Poking Wires:
If a wire causes irritation, 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, a piece of sugar free chewing gum, 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 is poking you, place a piece of wax over the area. As a last resort, if you cannot come into our office, the wire can 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 or finger pressure 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.
In case of an elastic spacer or separator falls out, call our office so that we can arrange to replace it for you. If it happens a day before your appointment, there is no need to call.
If You Swallow Something:
Remain calm if you swallow a piece of your appliance. It will usually pass though the digestive system naturally. However, if difficulty breathing is experienced, you should call our office and seek immediate medical attention. X-rays will be taken to determine the location of the swallowed piece.
If a retainer cracks or breaks, remove the retainer from your mouth and bring all the pieces to our office for professional repair.
Sore Teeth or Gums:
Take ibuprofen (Motrin/Advil) or acetaminophen (Tylenol) if your teeth are sore after your appointment. PLEASE CONSULT YOUR PHYSICIAN BEFORE TAKING ANY MEDICATIONS, PARTICULARLY IF YOU HAVE ANY HISTORY OF ALLERGIC REACTIONS.
Rinsing your mouth with a half teaspoon of salt in a cup of warm water can also be soothing. If your teeth get sore suddenly in between appointments, call our office because it is unusual to experience discomfort several weeks after your last office visit. If food becomes stuck between your teeth, use dental floss or a proxy brush to dislodge the food.
Minor irritations and canker sores may heal more quickly if you apply Zylactin or Orabase according to the manufacturer’s directions. You can purchase it over the counter at most pharmacies and convenience stores.