Luckily there are few orthodontic emergencies that require immediate care. As a general rule, call the office if you experience bleeding, severe pain, or have an appliance problem that you can’t take care of yourself. If calling after hours, follow the instructions on the answering system. An on-call assistant and doctor will be contacted, and your call will be returned in a timely manner.
You might be surprised to learn that many orthodontic problems can be remedied at home. After alleviating the discomfort, please contact our office during regular business hours to schedule a time to repair the problem. Allowing your appliance to remain damaged for an extended period of time may disrupt your treatment.
Using tweezers, try to put the wire back into place and add wax for stability. If this doesn’t help, you can use a small fingernail clipper to clip the wire behind the last tooth to which it is securely fastened.
If a bracket comes loose, please call our office during regular business hours and we will triage the situation. Often if it doesn’t bother you, we can simply schedule a repair visit. Please call even if you have an upcoming appointment since repairs of this nature usually take additional time. If the bracket is still attached to the wire, either remove the color tie (and the bracket will come easily free) or put wax on it to provide stability until your visit.
Most patients lose a separator during their treatment. If you lose a separator, please call our office to determine if it needs to be replaced.
After you get your orthodontic treatment and after adjustments, it is normal to feel general soreness in your mouth and for your teeth to be tender when biting. Patients can usually manage this discomfort well with their normal headache medication (Tylenol/Advil). You might also try applying a warm washcloth or heating pad to your jaws. The lips, cheeks and tongue may also become irritated for one to two weeks as they toughen and become accustomed to the braces or aligners. Overall, orthodontic discomfort is short-lived and easily managed.