True orthodontic emergencies are rare, but when they occur we are available to help! As a general rule, you should call our office when you experience severe pain or have a painful problem you can't take care of yourself.
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 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 important that you still call our office as we may need to schedule a time to repair the problem.
When you first begin treatment, you may feel general soreness in your mouth and your teeth may be tender for a few days. Sticking to a soft diet will help! Irritated gums and other sore spots can be relieved by rinsing your mouth with a warm salt-water mouthwash. Placing Orajel (found in a pharmacy) on the affected area and/or taking an over-the-counter pain medication like acetaminophen may also help relieve discomfort.
The lips, cheeks, and tongue may become irritated for a couple weeks as they get accustomed to your braces. You can put wax on the braces to lessen this - we'll show you how!
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-nosed pliers, try to put your wire back into place. If you cannot put the wire into a comfortable position and covering the end with wax doesn't help either, you can use a small fingernail clipper to clip the wire behind the last tooth to which it is securely fastened.
Using a pencil eraser, push the poking wire down or place wax on it so that it is no longer poking.