True orthodontic emergencies are very rare, and when they do occur we are available to help you. As a general rule, you should call our office when you are experiencing severe pain or when you have a painful appliance that you are unable to take care of at home.If you are experiencing discomfort from your orthodontic appliances and need help taking care of the problem at home, you may find the following solutions helpful, and as always you can call our emergency number to speak with one of Dr Neal’s assistants directly. The emergency number can be found on our office voicemail system. The following solutions may help you relieve your discomfort:
Poking Wire, Hook or Appliance
Using a pencil eraser, push the poking wire down or place wax on it to alleviate the discomfort. If wire is long and pokey, try cutting with fingernail clippers if wax will not alleviate discomfort.
Loose Bracket or Band
If your bracket or band is still attached to the arch wire, leave it in place and put wax over to hold it firm to the wire/tooth. If the arch wire has come out completely, wrap the bracket with tissue and bring it to our office at your next appointment.
Loose Arch Wires
Attempt to bend the wire gently back into the molar tube (center of bracket) from which it has slipped out of using needle-nose pliers or tweezers. You may need another set of hands to help with doing this and using a light source, such as a lamp, can help you see directly into the mouth. If covering the wire with wax or placing the wire yourself doesn’t work, as a last resort you may clip the wire with small finger nail clippers. You will do so by clipping behind the last bracket (last tooth) the wire is securely fastened.
Appliances such as an expander, retainer, lower retainer, etc. If your appliance is poking you, place wax covering completely over the offending part of the appliance and call our office.
Wax works best when the area you are applying it to is dry, try using a napkin/paper towel to dry area off for a more secure placement. You may need to have the wax available in the event the wax comes loose, or gets wet as it will need to be replaced. If you have no wax available you may use sugarless gum to cover the area.
Headgear Not Fitting
If the headgear or facebow are bent, please call our office for assistance as we will need to see you to help correct the bent appliance. In some cases the headgear causes some discomfort if not worn for the correct amount of time and will hurt less the more consistently you wear the appliance. For pain discomfort, taking Ibuprofen, Advil or children’s Motrin regularly will help with the transition period of getting use to the appliance.
Retainer Not Fitting
This could be a result of not wearing your retainer the correct amount of hours as directed by our office. If this happens, do not force your retainer to fit as we may be able to adjust the retainer to fit properly, or in some cases may need to make you a new retainer. If the retainer is not fitting due to loss of a baby tooth, call our office to schedule an appointment to have the retainer adjusted.
Lost Separator (Spacer)
Commonly a separator will fall out because the space we needed has been made. In this event, please call our office and we will schedule you to come in a few days before your next appointment to replace the separator. Just make sure you stay away from any chewy, sticky foods and avoid flossing the area with the separator to help keep the separator in place.
When you get your braces on, you may feel general soreness in your mouth. You must remember that not only are your teeth now starting to align/straighten, your cheeks and soft tissues in your mouth will also need to adjust to the feel of the orthodontic braces or appliances. You may experience a tender feeling and biting pressure for five to seven days. Tissues will become less irritated and toughen over time in the first few days or weeks. These feeling may be relieved by the following:
1. Taking medication such as Advil, Ibuprofen and childrens Motrin regularly will help during this transition period.
2. Rinsing with warm salt water as a mouthwash regularly will help with any tissue irritations and discomforts. Dissolve one teaspoon of salt into warm water and rinse vigorously.
3. Placing Orajel or Orabase (both products you may find in a drugstore) to the affected area.
4. Lastly, cover any orthodontic braces with wax that are causing irritation to cheeks, tongue and/or lips to help lessen the discomfort.
After alleviating your discomfort, it is still very important you call our office and schedule a time to repair the problem. Allowing your appliance to remain damaged for an extended period of time may result in disruptions in your treatment plan.
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