What to do in case of emergency?

v-braces3.jpgIf you are experiencing a true emergency, such as a severe injury to the face, teeth, or jaws, please see your general dentist as soon as possible. An examination and possible x-ray may be needed to determine any underlying problems. We will be your second call to follow up with any orthodontic attention you may need.

After placement of your orthodontic appliances and all regular adjustments, you may experience a slight tenderness or discomfort, as the teeth begin to move. This is normal and should be possible to manage with over the counter pain relief medication. Please be sure to follow the manufacturer recommended dosage instructions (and with the supervision of an adult, if applicable). If you are having prolonged or more than moderate pain, please contact our office for a follow up.

For minor orthodontic emergencies, i.e., loose brackets or bands, wires that are poking or have come loose, broken or loose appliances, etc., please call us to schedule an appointment. You can apply the wax provided directly to the area that is causing irritation to guard the cheeks and lips from further irritation. To apply wax, pinch off a small amount of wax; roll it between your fingers to get the wax nice and soft. With the tip of your finger, push the ball of wax directly onto the offending bracket, wire, etc. Use the tip of your finger to smooth the wax around to really make it stick. This may take some practice. We will be happy to provide you with extra wax any time, and there is always wax available in the mailbox right outside of our office in case of night or weekend emergencies. We also recommend rinsing with warm salt water or any antiseptic rinse (i.e. Peroxyl rinse available over the counter) to aid in healing of irritation, mouth sores, canker sores, etc. You can also take the eraser end of a pencil and push any small ties that are poking out back under the wire. If you are feeling truly brave, you can take a pair of side nail clippers and trim the end of any wire that is stick out behind the very back bracket. Don’t worry; you can’t cause any damage that we can’t fix.

The best way to solve any orthodontic emergencies is to follow the rules to prevent them. Stay away from hard, sticky, gooey, chewy foods! This is the #1 cause of loose brackets. Don’t chew on pen caps, bottle caps, pencils, and ice. Even sugar free gum can cause breakage.