True orthodontic emergencies are very rare, but they do happen. If you are experiencing severe pain and the problem cannot be solved at home, you should contact our office. We will return your call the next business day if it is after hours.
We want your experience during orthodontic treatment to be as painless and comfortable as possible. We will schedule an appointment to make you comfortable if issues arise. Until that appointment, problems can be temporarily solved by yourself, at home.
Even if you think you can fix the issue by yourself, you should still call the office to schedule a time for repair. If you let the problem fester, it could lengthen the duration of your treatment.
In order to fix these issues at home, you should know the basic parts that make up your braces. We’ve outlined some of the most common braces issues and how to temporarily fix them.
Loose bracket or band
Brackets are the small metal or ceramic squares on the front of your braces. They are the pieces that are attached to your teeth to keep your braces in place. Brackets are the pieces that the wires are secured into that when tightened and adjusted, gradually straighten your teeth.
Issues with loose or broken brackets can occur when you are undergoing braces treatment. If your bracket is still attached to the wire, leave it in place and put orthodontic 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
Wires, or archwires, are threaded through the brackets. The wires are extremely important because they are the pieces that will be applying the pressure to your teeth to straighten them.
Sometimes, those wires can become loose and start to feel uncomfortable in your mouth. If wire or elastic hooks are poking the inside of your mouth, use a Q-tip or pencil eraser to push wire flat against the tooth. If still bothersome, use wax on the offending wire and call the office for a repair visit.
Archwire out of back bracket
Another common issue that patients have during braces treatment is the archwire coming out of the back bracket on the molars. To fix this, you can use tweezers to place the wire back through the tube. If this issue happens often, you can 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.
The coil spring falls off
Coil springs are used to fix crowding or spacing issues should your treatment plan call for them. Coil springs can either create a space in the teeth or be used to push teeth together for proper spacing.
If your coil spring falls off, save the spring and call our office. We will let you know if you need to make an extra appointment with Dr. Ghosh or if the spring can be reattached at your next scheduled visit.
Door of the bracket opens
If you have self-ligating braces, like Damon braces, your archwires are held in place by brackets with a small metal door. If the door of the bracket opens, it is an easy fix! You just need to push the wire into the slot and then gently push the door closed with your finger. The door can be easily closed and secured.
The lips, cheeks and tongue may have some irritation the first couple of days into treatment. To help ease mouth sores, apply a small amount of Orabase or Zilactin to the affected area.
You can make a saltwater rinse with warm water and a teaspoon of salt to help alleviate discomfort. If the pain persists, contact your orthodontist.
Discomfort and general soreness
Some soreness and discomfort is normal 3-5 days after braces are adjusted. Teeth may be tender to biting pressures. To help ease the pain, take an over-the-counter pain reliever, like Ibuprofen. We also recommend that you eat soft foods. Rinsing your mouth out with cold water or eating cold foods like ice cream and popsicles can also help.
Turbo falls off (bracket behind front teeth)
If both turbos fall off, you should put the turbos into an envelope and call Dr. Ghosh. If only one falls off, be sure to put it in an envelope and bring it to your next appointment. Dr. Ghosh can put it back on during that appointment.
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