Orthodontic First Aid

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 will schedule an appointment to resolve the problem. There are temporary solutions to many problems that you can take care of yourself. Below is a list of things that sometimes occur, as well as some remedies and instructions in case they do happen.

During the first week after your braces are in place and routine adjustments are complete, you may feel some soreness and discomfort. We generally recommend that you take an analgesic such as acetaminophen (e.g. Tylenol) or ibuprofen (e.g. Advil, Motrin). This, of course, is the protocol only if there are no known allergies to these medications. If you have an open sore, you can rinse with warm salt water to soothe the area.

If food becomes stuck between your teeth, use your Waterpik, dental floss or a proxy brush to dislodge the food.

Sometimes a wire can cause irritation. To resolve the discomfort, push the wire away from the area using the eraser end of a pencil or a cotton swab. If the wire cannot be tucked away, cover the end of the wire with a small piece of wax or a cotton ball. If the wire is sticking you and wax does not help, the wire can be cut with a small wire cutter or nail clipper close to the back of the last brace. If you cannot resolve the wire irritation, please call our office for an appointment.

If a brace comes loose from a tooth, it usually remains connected to the main wire and is not cause for an emergency visit. Tweezers can be used to reposition the braces if it flips around the wire and becomes a source of irritation. Call our office at your earliest convenience. It may be necessary to schedule a separate visit to repair the loose brace(s), since repairs of this nature usually take additional time.

If you have a Loose Expander/Appliance or Trauma to the Mouth, please contact us immediately.

Poking Wire

Using a pencil eraser, push the poking wire down or place wax on it to alleviate the discomfort.

Loose Bracket or Band

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.

Loose Wire

Using tweezers, try to place your wire back into place. If doing this and using wax does not 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 your discomfort continues, place wax on it.

Loose Appliance

If your appliance is poking you, place wax on the offending part of your appliance.