Emergency Information for Patients with Braces/ Orthodontic Appliances
Steps to follow if there is an Emergency
The first thing for you to do is to contact our offices in the event that your dental appliances should loosen or break. Call our office in advance and we will schedule an emergency appointment. Please do not come to the office without notifying our staff because this could result in a delay before you can be treated.
Patients who have already scheduled a routine appointment should still call first and inform the dental team of any emergency with braces or other orthodontic appliances. This will allow us to rearrange the schedule and devote the necessary time to your specific situation.
Brackets or Bands that Loosen Unexpectedly
When orthodontic wiring, brackets or bands begin to loosen this could signal a problem that needs to be checked. Your braces may need to be tightened, adjusted or replaced for a better fit.
The situation may even require a wire to be cut, or you may need to remove a bracket from the wiring.
Such an event might occur during the night, weekend or on a holiday.
A pair of sterilized fingernail clippers can be used at home if this type of emergency occurs after regular office hours. Be sure that you clean the fingernail clippers in hot water and alcohol prior to using them to cut a dental wire.
Call the office the very next business day and request an emergency appointment.
Irritation from Dental Wires
The wires used in dental braces can frequently cause gum and mouth irritation.
Generally you can use a clean cotton swab or eraser tip to move the wire away from the irritated site.
In a situation where the wire cannot be moved you can use a tiny bit of cotton or wax to pad the wire and protect the irritated skin in your mouth.
When the wire becomes uncomfortably painful cutting the wiring may relieve the problem. Only use a pair of manicure scissors or nail clippers that have first been thoroughly cleaned and sterilized with hot water and alcohol.
Call the dental office and schedule an appointment if you are unsuccessful at relieving the problem yourself.
Losing the Separator
It is quite common for patients to lose their dental separator. This is not a major concern and should be no cause for worry. These items are easy to replace.
You do need to contact the office as soon as possible and ask if you need to get a replacement.
Discomfort and Orthodontic Treatments
The first week when braces are new and adjustments are being made to your mouth there may be some mild to minimal discomfort.
Acetaminophen should relieve the pain, or you could try using a different type of aspirin-free product for pain relief. In most cases these analgesics will resolve any discomfort caused by the braces.
Another helpful suggestion is to use a heating pad or a warm cloth for pain relief. 15 -20 minutes of warm, moist heat can relieve any sore, aching sensations in the jaw area.