Although there are very few true orthodontic emergencies, during the course of treatment you may discover that you have loose or broken bracket. You may also discover that the orthodontic wires may shift and begin irritating your lips or cheeks. Below is a list of common problems and how they may be remedied at home. If you have a problem that you cannot resolve on your own, call our office during normal business hours. We will be able to give you advice on how to solve the problem yourself or schedule you the appropriate appointment so that your problem can be fixed.
Soreness and Tooth Pain
Teeth may become sore or achy following an orthodontic appointment or when you first have your braces placed. Usually the teeth are most sore during the first 24-72 hours. After 72 hours, the teeth usually start feeling better. Maintain a soft food diet as needed. If necessary, take the pain reliever you would use for a headache (Advil, Motrin, Tylenol).
You may discover that you have loose or broken bracket. This is usually caused by playing with your braces or eating hard or sticky foods. This is generally not an emergency unless it is associated with pain or discomfort. If the bracket is attached to the wire, leave it in place and cover it with wax as needed for comfort. If the bracket comes out completely, bring it with you to your next appointment. Call the office to schedule an appointment to repair the bracket during normal office hours. Be careful not to break too many brackets during your orthodontic treatment. You may be charged an extra fee to repair broken brackets which may lengthen your treatment time and increase your overall fee.
Sometimes as your teeth shift, the ends of the wire will start poking out the back of the molar tubes and begin irritating the cheeks. This problem may be resolved by moving the wire away from the irritated area using a cotton swab or pencil eraser. If the wire does not move, cover it with a small pea-sized amount of wax or cotton. You may also try cutting the wire with nail clippers that have been washed and sterilized in alcohol. Call the office during normal office hours for an appointment if you cannot resolve the problem
Eating hard or sticky foods or playing with the appliance can loosen a band/s. This is generally not an emergency unless it is associated with pain or discomfort. Call our officeduring normal business hours to have the band/s recemented. If the band comes off your tooth, the space needed to recement the band may close in a few days so call your orthodontics office to schedule an appointment to have the band recemented. If no recementation appointment is available within a few days of the band coming off, the office can usually have you in for a quick appointment to place separators so the band space does not close. Remember to bring the band with you to your appointment.
Sores and Ulcerations
During the first week of treatment, you may notice sores or ulcerations inside your mouth. This can happen because your lips and cheeks are not yet used to rubbing against your orthodontic braces. Over time, your skin on the inside of your mouth will get tougher and you will not have sores anymore. To provide some relief for your lips and cheeks rubbing against your braces, you can place a small pea-sized amount of wax or cotton on the area of the braces that is causing the sore or ulceration. The sore should improve within a couple of days and completely heal within a week. Rinsing your mouth a few times a day with warm, salty water will also help. If the sore or ulceration does not improve or gets worse, call our office to have it examined.