Emergency Care

Loose or Poking Archwires:

If a wire causes irritation, push the wire away from the area using the eraser end of a pencil or a Q-tip. If the wire cannot be tucked away, cover the end of the wire with a small piece of wax or a cotton ball until you can see us for an adjustment.

If the main wire has come out of the tube on the back tooth, you can attempt to reinsert the wire with a pair of tweezers. If the wire is sticking you, place a piece of wax over the area. As a last resort, if you cannot come into our office, the wire can be cut with a small wire cutter or fingernail clipper close to the back of the last brace.

Loose Brackets or Bands:

If a bracket becomes loose, it usually remains connected to the main wire by a little-colored rubber ring or a small steel ligature tie. Tweezers can be used to reposition the brace if it flips around the wire and becomes a source of irritation. Call our office and inform us of the problem.

Lost Separators:

In case a rubber spacer or separator falls out, call our office so that we can arrange to replace it for you. If it happens a day before your appointment to put on braces or bands, you do not need to do anything.

If You Swallow Something:

If you swallow a piece of your appliance it will usually go into the stomach and pass out of the body in a bowel movement. However, if difficulty breathing is experienced, you should seek immediate medical attention. X-rays will be taken to determine the location of the swallowed piece.

Broken Retainer:

If a retainer cracks or breaks, remove the retainer from your mouth and bring all the pieces to our office for professional repair.

Sore Teeth or Sore Gums:

Sore teeth are normal after your orthodontic appointment. You should stick to a softer diet for a few days until your teeth adjust. You can also take ibuprofen (Motrin/Advil) or acetaminophen (Tylenol), in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions. Please consult your physician before you take any medications, particularly if you have any history of medication allergies.

Rinsing your mouth with warm water and half a teaspoon of salt can also be soothing for sore spots on your cheeks, lips and tongue. 

Minor irritations and canker sores will heal much more quickly if you apply Zilactin or Orabase according to the manufacturer’s directions. You can purchase it over the counter at most pharmacies and convenient stores. You can also place wax on the braces where it is rubbing against your cheeks or lips.

Invisalign:

If you lost your current aligners, go back and wear the last set of aligners. If the aligners have any sharp edges, you can use a clean emory board to smooth the edges.