While we recognize that orthodontic “emergencies” are not life-and-death situations, we also understand that situations may occur that cause discomfort. Perhaps a wire will break or you accidentally eat something that causes a problem. We have provided the information below to help you prevent those types of emergencies and also to answer some of the most common questions regarding these special situations.
Some inconveniences while going through treatment are normal. Many times repairs can be put off until your next regular appointment. Of course, we are here to serve you and encourage you to call any time you have a question. If you are experiencing an orthodontic emergency that can’t wait for regular office hours, please leave us a message and we will get back with you as soon as possible.
Soreness Caused from Braces and Appliances
If the pain is more severe and does not go away after rinsing, you can also try taking a pain reliever. It is also not uncommon for your lips, cheeks, and tongue to become irritated for a few weeks as they toughen and become used to the braces. We would be happy to give you some wax that you can put over the braces to lessen the tenderness. If you need some wax, please let us know.
Teeth, when moving, can be really tender for about a week after the initial placement of the orthodontic appliances and also after each adjustment. Over-the-counter pain relievers such as Tylenol or Motrin can relieve discomfort. Follow the dosage recommendations and any additional precautions as listed on the bottle. Some patients find it helpful to take the first dose an hour before their appointment to help prevent some of the discomfort that will occur once the teeth start to move.
During the first few weeks, the inside of your cheeks will be tender because they are not used to the braces. As time goes by, the inside of the cheeks will toughen up and adjust to the braces. While the cheeks are still overly sensitive, using wax on the rough spots can be very helpful. Also helpful are warm saltwater rinses, which soothe the cheek lining (see instructions below).
If your teeth begin feeling a little loose, don’t worry; this is normal! Your braces must first loosen your teeth to move them into the right position. Once your teeth have been repositioned, they will no longer be loose.
Loose Wires and Bands
The wires and bands on your braces may come loose. If this happens, please contact us as soon as possible so that we can check and repair your appliance. If any piece of your appliance comes off, be sure to save it and bring it to the office with you.
You can temporarily fix the loose wire by using the back of a spoon or the eraser end of a pencil to carefully and gently push the wire back into place. If the loose wire is causing irritation to your lips or cheeks, put wax or a wet cotton ball over the broken wire to relieve the pain.