Your orthodontic appliances are designed to hold up to normal wear and tear that occur when you brush, floss, eat, drink, and speak. Orthodontic emergencies are rare. However, if you experience sudden or severe pain, or if your equipment is causing discomfort that you can’t address on your own, please contact us. Most concerns can wait until the following day, but if you have a serious problem, we can be immediately available. Dr. Kenneth Banasiak and Dr. Roger Nettune, our experienced orthodontists, as well as our extensively trained team will help you resolve concerns as quickly as possible.
In most cases, you should be able to temporarily address minor concerns until an orthodontic visit can be scheduled. If you know the name of your specialized appliance and all its pieces, we can more easily assist you in finding a solution to a problem over the phone. Fortunately, we have an orthodontic dictionary to help you identify each part. Even if you successfully relieve the discomfort associated with your concern, you should still contact us promptly so we can repair any broken or damaged equipment and ensure your treatment is proceeding as expected. A poorly or non-functioning orthodontic appliance can set back your outcome, so we encourage you to speak with us about any issues you may have.
Tips to Address Common Concerns
If a wire has come loose and causes discomfort, you can use the eraser end of a pencil to carefully push the wire down and out of the way. You may also wish to place a small amount of wax over any rough areas.
Loose Bracket or Band
Feel a wiggle in your bracket or band? As long as the appliance is still attached to the wire you should leave it alone. However, you can use wax to cover any metal that might be irritating to your mouth. If the wire becomes completely loose, try wrapping the bracket with a piece of tissue.
In many cases, you should be able to reposition the wire by using tweezers and carefully moving the piece back into place. You can also use wax to cover any parts that are poking or rough. If the wire is loose but tweezers are unsuccessful, use a small nail clipper to cut the wire close to the last securely attached tooth. Again, if you feel any irritation, add some wax.
Wax is the solution for a lot of concerns, including loose appliances. If you find that a metal or plastic part of a retainer or other orthodontic appliance is bothering you, try covering the sharp edge with some wax.
When you first receive your braces, there will be an adjustment period. You may feel some soreness in a general way across your teeth, gums, and mouth for about three to five days. To reduce discomfort, try using a warm saltwater rinse. Dissolve a teaspoon of salt into about 8 ounces of water. Gargle the liquid in your mouth vigorously to reach all affected areas, and then spit out the solution. You can also take an over-the-counter pain reliever. You may also wish to try Orabase®, a topical analgesic available at most pharmacies and drug stores.
Our friendly and knowledgeable team is available to help you handle any orthodontic questions or concerns. Contact us today for more information on orthodontic emergency situations or to schedule a consultation.