True orthodontic emergencies are rare, but when they occur you can call our office to schedule an appointment to have our skilled team assess the nature of the emergency. Many concerns can wait until your next visit, and you might be surprised to learn that you may be able to temporarily solve many problems yourself. If extreme discomfort or pain is occuring do not hesistate to call our office to be seen.
Below are a few at home ways to alleviate your discomfort until your next visit:
When you get your braces on, you may feel general soreness in your mouth, and teeth may be tender to biting pressures for 3 to 5 days. Sticking to a softer diet may help eliminate this discomfort. Irritated gums and other sore spots can be relieved by rinsing your mouth with a warm salt-water mouthwash as often as needed. Dissolve one teaspoonful of salt in 8 ounces of warm water, and rinse your mouth vigorously. If the tenderness is severe, take Acetaminophen (Tylenol) or whatever you normally take for headache or similar pain. Aspirin, Ibuprofen (Motrin, Advil) and Naproxen Sodium (Naprosyn, Anaprox) actually slow the tooth movement, so it is not advisable to use them frequently while wearing braces.
The lips, cheeks, and tongue may become irritated for 1 to 2 weeks as they learn a new posture and become accustomed to the surface of the braces. You can put wax on the braces to lessen this discomfort.
Sometimes discomfort is caused by not wearing the headgear as instructed. If the facebow (metal piece) is bent or you have any other concerns with fit, please call our office. The more consistant you are with wearing the headgear the more comfortable it will become to you.
If your appliance is poking you, place wax on the offending part and call our office at your convenience for an adjustment or new scan for a replacement.
If your bracket or band is still attached to the wire, you should leave it in place and put wax on it if needed for comfort. If the bracket or band can be removed easily, place it in an envelope and save it to bring to your next appointment.
Using a pair of tweezers or needle-nosed pliers, try to put your wire back into place. It is okay to use a piece of floss to tie the wire into place: tie the floss around the bracket in place of the missing colored o-ring. If you cannot put the wire into a comfortable position, and covering the end with wax doesn't 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 the end of the wire is still sharp, place wax on it. If none of the above temporary fixes work, please call our office for an appointment.
Using a pencil eraser, push the poking wire down or place wax over the area.