Orthodontic Emergencies

Some orthodontic problems can be dealt with by yourself if an emergency visit to your orthodontic specialist is not possible.

The following section provides suggestions on how to deal with some of these problems:

Other orthodontic emergencies are preventable. The following are some examples:


Tooth pain after the braces have been adjusted

A frequent problem is tooth pain for several days after the braces have been adjusted. This tends to make eating more difficult. One suggestion is to make sure soft foods are available. Another simple step to take is to use non-prescription pain relievers such as you would for a headache. Examples of these are Tylenol or Advil.


Irritation of lips and cheeks

Irritation of lips and cheeks from braces rubbing tends to occur when the braces are first placed.

Relief Wax is available and can provide comfort while you get used to your braces.

To apply the wax, pinch off a small piece and roll it into a ball the size of a pea.

After the wax is squeezed into a small disc and then pushed onto the brace where the irritation is occurring. Finally, the wax is pushed to cover the top and the bottom of the brace. Typically, the wax is used when eating and it is not unusual for the wax to fall of and be eaten. There should be no concerns about eating the wax as no medications are present.

Ligatures come off the brace while eating sticky foods

Small round donut shaped elastic ligatures are used to keep the wire and brace together (in the following image, they are light blue). If sticky foods are eaten, they can partially or completely come off the brace. 

Using small tweezers, they can be put
back around the brace


Brace is knocked during sport or
while eating a hard food

Braces are attached to teeth with a special adhesive and tend to sit in the middle of your teeth.

If a brace is knocked during sport or while eating a hard food, the attachment to the tooth will fail. This is often first noticed when brushing and the brace appears off of center on the tooth.

A visit to the orthodontic specialist is necessary to repair this type of problem. Occasionally, the brace is rotated on the wire and sticks out into the lip.

Again tweezers may be used to correct this problem. First slide the brace so that it is in between two teeth. Then push the brace around and back up against the tooth.


Protruding Wire

If a wire is protruding out the end of the last brace or if a thin wire is coming off the braces and irritating your lips and cheeks, a small key chain nail clipper can be helpful .

Use the clipper to cut the wire.

It may be helpful to use a folded Kleenex  to trap the piece of wire .


Ways to prevent Orthodontic Emergencies

Storing a removable appliance or retainer

A removable appliance or retainer is only safe in two places. In your mouth or in the retainer case provided by your orthodontic specialist. Never place them in a purse, pocket or anywhere else where they can be damaged.


Removing an appliance or retainer when eating out

When eating out it is recommended that you remove your retainer. All too often the retainer case is not available. Please, do not wrap the retainer in a tissue or napkin. This eventually results in the retainer being discarded.


Removing Headgear

When removing your headgear, always disconnect the strap prior to removing the metal facebow. Failure to disconnect the strap could lead to serious injury.

 

 

 

 


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