To help you accurately describe an emergency situation to us, know how to identify the component parts of your braces:
FOOD CAUGHT BETWEEN TEETH
Solution: Use dental floss or interproximal brush to dislodge the food
Lost Elastic Tie
Poking Metal tie
Solution: Try to push the poky wire back into place by using the end of a pencil eraser or a cotton bud. If that is not possible, you can place wax on the area causing the irritation until we can see you.
Tooth discomfort or soreness
Solution: This is normal particularly following an orthodontic activation appointment. Usually the teeth are most sore during the first 24-72 hours. After 72 hours, the teeth usually start feeling better. Maintain a soft food diet as needed. If necessary, take the pain reliever you would use for a headache.
Lip/cheek sores or ulceration or irritation
Solution: This is normal when your lips and cheeks are not yet used to rubbing against your orthodontic braces.
To provide some relief, you can place a small pea-sized amount of wax or cotton on the area of the braces that is causing the sore or ulceration. If the sore or ulceration does not improve or gets worse, call us to have it examined.
Loose or broken braces
Solution: If the bracket is attached to the wire, leave it in place and cover it with wax as needed for comfort. If the bracket comes out completely, bring it with you to your next appointment. Avoid connecting elastics or a headgear appliance to any loose brackets. Call us to schedule an appointment to repair the bracket.
Long poking/protruding archwire
Solution: Try moving the wire away from the irritated area using a cotton bud or pencil eraser. If the wire does not move, cover it with a small pea-sized amount of wax or cotton to provide relief to the irritated area. You may also try cutting the wire with nail clippers that have been washed and sterilized in alcohol. Reduce the possibility of swallowing the snipped piece of wire by using folded tissue or gauze around the area. Call the office for an appointment if you cannot resolve the problem.
Wire out of tube or slot
Accident involving teeth
Solution: Call us or your dentist immediately.
PIECE OF APPLIANCE IS SWALLOWED
Solution: Remain calm. If you are unable to see the piece and believe it may have been aspirated (particularly if there is excessive coughing or difficulty in breathing), seek medical help and notify us immediately.