True orthodontic emergencies are rare, but when they occur we are available to you. As a general rule, you should call our office (517) 278-7900 when you experience severe pain or have a painful appliance problem you can't take care of yourself. We'll be able to schedule an appointment to resolve the problem.
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 there is a loose piece that you can remove, put it in a plastic bag or envelope and bring it with you to your next appointment. 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 very important that you still call our office as soon as possible to schedule a time to repair the problem. Allowing your appliance to remain damaged for an extended period of time will result in extended treatment times and compromised treatment. Please leave a message on our voicemail if it occurs after hours. We will always call you back to let you know how we want to handle your specific issue.
When you get your braces on, you may feel general soreness in your mouth, and teeth may be tender to biting pressures for three to five days. Stick to a soft diet until your teeth do not hurt to chew. Irritated gums and other sore spots can be relieved by rinsing your mouth with a warm salt-water mouthwash. Dissolve one teaspoonful of salt in eight ounces of warm water, and rinse your mouth vigorously. If the tenderness is severe, take Acetaminophen (Tylenol) or whatever you normally take for headache or similar pain.
The lips, cheeks, and tongue may become irritated for one to two weeks as they learn a new posture and become accustomed to the surface of the braces. You can put wax on the braces to lessen this. We'll show you how!
Poking/Loose Removable appliance
If your appliance is poking you, place wax on the offending part. Call the office to schedule an appointment to have the appliance adjusted. If it is a clear overlay, invisalign or clear correct aligner, you can file it down slightly with a nail file.
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. Call the office to report that you have a broken bracket as soon as it happens.
Using a pair of tweezers or needle-nosed pliers, try to put your wire back into place. It is okay to use a piece of floss to tie the wire into place: tie the floss around the bracket in place of the missing colored o-ring. If you cannot put the wire into a comfortable position, and covering the end with wax doesn't help, as a last resort use a small fingernail clipper to clip the wire behind the last tooth to which it is securely fastened. If the end of the wire is still sharp place wax on it. Call the office to schedule an appointment to be seen to repair the wire.
Using a pencil eraser, push the poking wire down or place wax on it so that it is no longer poking. Frequently as teeth begin to move, the wire may become long out the back of the farthest back bracket. If this happens, you should call the office to have the wire "clipped". Do not wait until it becomes really bad - we don't want to have you endure a long weekend with a pokey wire!