True orthodontic emergencies are very rare.
In general, you should call the office if you experience severe pain and the problem can not be fixed at home. We will schedule an appointment to make you comfortable. Most problems can be temporarily solved by yourself, at home, until your next scheduled appointment.
To help us better assist you, it is important that you know the basic terms and parts of the braces (listed on another page). Even if it is something you can take care of yourself, still call the office to schedule a time to repair the problem. Allowing the problem to remain for a long period of time may lengthen your treatment time.
Call the office to inform us of a loose bracket regardless of what day or time your appointment is.
Loose bracket or band
- If your bracket is still attached to the wire, leave it in place and put wax on it.
- If the bracket comes off entirely, place the bracket in an envelope and bring it to your next appointment. The bracket will be reattached at your next regular visit.
Poking wire or elastic hook
- Use a Q-tip or pencil eraser to push wire flat against tooth.
- If still bothersome, use wax on the offending wire and call the office for a repair visit.
Archwire out of back bracket
- Use tweezers to place the wire back through the tube.
- If it occurs frequently, cut the wire with a toenail clipper behind the last tooth to which it is securely attached.
- If discomfort continues, place wax on it and call the office for a repair visit.
Turbo off – Bracket behind front teeth
- If both off, save turbos and call the orthodontist.
- If one off, save turbo and inform orthodontist at next visit.
Coil spring off
- Save spring and inform your orthodontist. We will let you know if you need to be seen sooner or if the spring can be reinserted at the next regular visit.
Door of the bracket open
- Push wire into slot and then gently push the door closed with a finger. The door can be easily closed.
- The lips, cheeks and tongue may become irritated for a few days as they toughen and become accustomed to the surface of the braces.
- Apply a small amount of Orabase or Zilactin.
- Use a salt water rinse.
- If the problem persists, please call our office.
Discomfort and general soreness
- This is normal 3-5 days after braces are adjusted.
- Teeth may be tender to biting pressures.
- Take an over-the-counter pain reliever (ibuprofen).
- Eat soft foods.
- Rinse mouth with cold water or eat cold food (ice cream, popsicles).