True orthodontic emergencies are rare, but when they occur we are available to you. As a general rule, you should call our office when you experience severe pain or have a painful appliance prob-
lem 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 solve many problems yourself temporarily until you can get to our office. If there is a loose piece that you can remove, put it in a plastic bag or envelope and bring it with you to your next appointment. If your braces are poking you, put soft wax on the piece that’s sticking out. If the wire has slid to one side, you can pull it back to the other side with needle-nosed pliers, replacing it in the tube on the back tooth.
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.
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. Stick to a soft diet until your teeth do not hurt to chewing. Irritated gums and other sore spots can be relieved by rinsing your mouth with a warm salt-water mouthwash. Dissolve one teaspoonful of salt in eight ounces of warm water, and rinse your mouth vigorously. An alternative (better tasting) mouthwash is the Healthy Gums Rinse by The Natural Dentist. Placing Orabase on the affected area may also help relieve discomfort; Orabase can be found in a pharmacy. 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 one to two 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. We’ll show you how!
If your appliance is poking you, place wax on the offending part.
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 nose pliers, try to put your wire back into place. It is ok 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.
Using a pencil eraser, push the poking wire down or place wax on it so that it is no longer poking.
If you’ve ever found yourself with a broken bracket, orthodontic wire, or appliance, you’ve probably wondered whether or not it’s an emergency for your smile. In some cases it may not be, but in others it is!
Orthodontic Dental Emergencies Occur:
• When pain or severe discomfort is present
• If soft tissues like lips or cheeks are traumatized
• During displacement or malfunction of orthodontic appliances
• When appliances have broken
• If abnormal tooth movement or gum recession is present
Saving Your Smile
An orthodontic emergency can happen at any time (or if you’re eating food that you shouldn’t be.) Not correcting this problem as soon as possible may cause your teeth to be moved in an abnormal direction due to irregular pressure being placed on them by the remaining orthodontic appliances. Or they can even interfere with speech and eating.
Magic Smiles is located in Phoenix and Mesa and is staffed by qualified orthodontic providers that are ready to come to your aid during any orthodontic or dental emergency. Whether we treat you or you’re a patient of someone else, we offer same day and emergency dental walk-in appointments.
You can reach our team of dental emergency care providers at (602) 640-9853.