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 schedule an appointment to resolve the problem.
You might be surprised to learn that you may be able to temporarily solve many problems yourself until you schedule an appointment with our office. When working with your appliances, it might be helpful to know the names of the parts of your appliances so you can identify what part is broken or out of place (refer to brace diagram). Allowing your appliance to remain damaged for an extended period of time may result in disruptions of your treatment.
When you get your braces on, you may feel general soreness in your mouth and teeth may be tender to biting pressures several days. If the tenderness is severe, take Tylenol®, Advil® or whatever you normally take for headache or similar pain.
The lips, cheeks and tongue may also become irritated as they toughen and become accustomed to the surface of the braces. You can put wax on the braces to lessen this.
Loose/Broken Brace or Band
If your bracket or band is still attached to the wire, you should leave it in place and put wax on it. Discard the brace or band if it comes off completely. Do not worry if you swallow a brace or some wax - it is safe to ingest. You should always call the office if a band is loose. However, if a brace is loose, you only need to call us if the next appointment is when your braces are scheduled to be removed or if it is bothering you.
Missing Elastic Tie or Broken Powerchain
You should call the office only if it is bothering you or if your next appointment is the one in which you are scheduled to get your braces removed.
Try to push the wire back into the slot of the brace. If you cannot, do not worry, you only need to call the office if your next appointment is when your braces are scheduled to be removed.
Wire Out of Last Brace
You may try to place the wire back into the brace with tweezers. If not, and you are uncomfortable, you may try to snip the wire with nail clippers or place wax over the area. If it is bothering you, call the office and we will be happy to see you to make you comfortable.
Wire Long or Poking Out the Back
There are 2 reasons as to why a wire may be long: it has shifted or the last tooth has moved forward as a normal part of space closure.
If the wire has shifted, it will be short on one side of your mouth and long on the other. Try to shift the wire back. Otherwise, you may try placing wax over the wire. If you are unable to alleviate your discomfort, please feel free to call the office. If the wire is poking because the last tooth has moved forward, try to snip the wire with nail clippers or place wax over the area. Otherwise, call us if it is bothering you.
Poking Steel Ligature Tie
Using a pencil eraser, push the poking wire down or place wax on it to alleviate the discomfort.
It is ok to have only one turbo in place. Please call the office if both turbos come off or if having only one is unusually bothering you.
Space developing between your teeth
Do not worry, this is normal. You only need to call us if your next appointment is the one in which your braces are supposed to be removed.
These are very common and expected during orthodontic treatment. They usually resolve within two weeks. Rinse with the mouthrinse prescription provided and/or place wax over the brace or wire that is causing the irritation. Do not worry about accidentally swallowing the wax - it is safe to ingest. If you cannot get relief, call the office and we will see you as soon as possible.
Please try to pay attention to things that may have lead to any of the above problems; especially those that cause a brace to come off or a wire to come out of the last brace. Avoiding these behaviours will prevent future problems and therefore reduce the number of times you need to come in to see us. It will also ensure that your treatment proceeds in a timely manner.
Please note that most problems can wait a few weeks to be dealt with unless, of course, something is hurting you. If so, we will see you as soon as possible to make you comfortable. Extensive repairs may require an additional appointment.