Dr. Gray, Dr. Ehrler and our team pledges to provide safe and comfortable care for all of our patients. Orthodontic emergencies are rare, but if one were to happen with your metal braces, clear braces, clear aligners, retainers or other appliance, we are available to you for help. You should call our office as soon as possible if you break or loosen any of your appliances.
With proper care, you can handle many of the problems that you might experience with braces at home yourself. If you are able to alleviate pain at home, it is still important that you notify our office if you have a broken appliance. Below are some common problems that you may encounter at home, and things you can do to fix them:
After you get your braces on, you might feel some general soreness in your mouth and your teeth may be tender to biting pressures for three to five days. You can relieve this pain by rinsing your mouth with a warm saltwater or mouthwash. If the tenderness is severe, you can take acetaminophen or other non-aspirin pain relievers while you adjust to your new braces.
Irritation can also occur on the lips, tongue and cheeks for one to two weeks as they get used to the surface of the braces. You can apply wax, silicone or GushyGoo™ to the braces to lessen the irritation and pain.
Sometimes, you might experience a poking wire. If you have a wire that is poking into your lip or cheek, use a pencil eraser to push the poking wire down. Or, you can place a small amount of wax or small piece of cotton on the wire to alleviate discomfort.
If you have a loose bracket and it is still attached to the wire, you should leave it in place and put wax on it. Call our office immediately for advice if a bracket or wire is loosened. The bracket may need to be re-fitted as soon as possible. You may have a situation that requires cutting a wire or sliding a bracket off a wire at night or over the weekend. If you need to cut a wire in case of an emergency you may use fingernail clippers that have been washed and sterilized in alcohol.
Separators are used in the early treatment stages to make space for the fitting of bands around the teeth. These small plastic devices may become loose and fall out as space becomes larger between the teeth. It is rare that a separator will need to be replaced, but if you do lose one, call our office to let us know and we will arrange to have you visit if necessary.
Following the instructions that Dr. Gray and Dr. Ehrler give you in our office is the best way to avoid breakage, loosening of your braces, and unwanted discomfort at home. However, we know that breakage can occur from time to time. If this happens, follow the tips we have provided above.