True 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'll be able to schedule an appointment to resolve the problem.
You might be surprised to learn that you may be able to temporarily solve problems yourself until you schedule an appointment with our office, When working with your appliances, you need to know the names and parts of your appliances so you can identify what part is broken or out of place. After alleviating your discomfort, it is very important that you still call our office as soon as possible to schedule a time to repair the problem. Allowing your appliance to remain damaged for an extended period of time may result in disruptions to your treatment plan.
WHAT TO DO IN CASE OF EMERGENCY
Call our office as soon as possible if you break or loosen any of your appliances. Please do not come directly to the office- by calling, you will allow us to create a time to see you. Even if you have a regular appointment scheduled, call us immediately to schedule an appointment to have appliance repaired.
WHAT CAN I DO WHEN I AM HAVING AN EMERGENCY, BUT I AM OUT OF TOWN?
In a true emergency or for significant discomfort, a local orthodontist will usually see you to make you comfortable.
When you get your braces on, you may feel general soreness in your mouth, and teeth may be tender to biting pressures for three to five days. This can be relieved by rinsing your mouth with a warm saltwater mouthwash. If the tenderness is severe, take ibuprofen or what you normally take for headache or similar pain.
The lips, checks and tongue may also become irritated for one to two weeks as they toughen and become accustomed to the surface of the braces. You can put wax on the braces to lessen this. Make sure the area is dry or wax will not stick. We'll show you how!
LOOSE BRACKETS OR BANDS
Call our office immediately for advice if a bracket or wire is loosened. The bracket may need to be re-fitted as soon as possible. You may have a situation that requires cutting a wire or sliding a bracket off a wire at night or over the weekend. If you need to cute a wire in case of emergency, you may use fingernail clippers that have been washed and sterilized in alcohol. Please call our office the next business day, so that we may schedule an appointment for you.
Sometimes discomfort caused by a wire or your braces can be resolved by moving the wire away from the irritated area with a cotton swab or eraser. If the wire will not move, try covering the end of it with a small piece of cotton or small amount of wax. If the wire is painful, you can cut it with nail clippers or scissors that have been washed and sterilized in alcohol. If you cannot resolve the wire irritation, call our office for an appointment.
Most patients lose a separator during their treatment. Do not worry about losing a separator, but call our office to see if it needs to be replaced.
Call our office immediately for advice if the expander is loose or completely out of the mouth. The expander will need to be replaced as soon as possible.
If the patient is able to remove the expander completely, do not replace the expander yourself. Place the expander in a zip-lock baggie and bring it with you to your next appointment.
Sometimes headgear discomfort is caused by not wearing the headgear as instructed by your orthodontist. Please refer to the instructions provided by your orthodontist. If the facebow is bent, please call our office for assistance. Surprisingly, the headgear may hurt less as it's worn more, so be sure you're getting in the prescribed number of hours.