Orthodontic Emergencies:

General Soreness: It is common and normal to experience some soreness during orthodontic treatment. This can last three to four days after an adjustment. To alleviate discomfort, we recommend that patients eat softer foods and rinse with warm salt water after each meal. Pain relievers may also help. Parents can give children the recommended dosage of Ibuprofen or Tylenol if there is no history of adverse reactions or contraindications to these medications.

Sore spots: Occasionally patients may develop canker sores while wearing braces. There is no cure for canker sores, but to help relieve any discomfort we recommend placing wax on the problematic area of the braces and use Orabase or Orajel on the sore spot. Canker sores generally heal within 7 – 10 days. Please call us if you do not experience relief after this time period.

Poking wire tie: If a wire tie begins to scratch your lip, you can gently tuck it under the main archwire with the tip of an eraser. Call our office for an appointment if the discomfort persists.

Injury: Orthodontic appliances can be damaged when a patient sustains injury to the face or mouth. Call for an appointment if the teeth feel loose or if the appliance is broken. If you choose, we can create a customized mouthguard to protect your teeth and appliances during contact sports.

Loose teeth: Do not be surprised if teeth feel loose during treatment. Teeth need to loosen before they can move into their new positions.

Lip bumper causing sores: Remove the lip bumper by pulling it forward. If the lip bumper is tied in with elastic, cut the elastic first and then remove it. Call our office during regular business hours to schedule an appointment so we can adjust the bumper to a more comfortable position. Do not wear the lip bumper until we can see you for an adjustment.

Separator/Spacer is out: If a separator (spacer) falls out a day or two before your next appointment you do not need to have it replaced. If it falls out before then, call our office during regular business hours to schedule a quick appointment to replace the missing separator.

Rubber bands: Rubber band wear will cause sore teeth when you first begin wearing them (approximately the first 3 – 4 days). Once the teeth begin to move, this soreness will go away. Continue to wear the rubber bands during this initial period of soreness and take pain relievers if necessary. Do not continue wearing the rubber bands if you are unsure how they are to be worn. Call our office during regular business hours and we will let you know how to wear your elastics.

Broken Archwire: Call our office during regular business hours to schedule an emergency visit. Place wax or a piece of wet cotton over the area if the wire is poking.

Appliances or Headgear that does not fit: Call our office during regular business hours and schedule an appointment to have the appliance or headgear adjusted. Do not try to force the appliance or headgear into place.

Loose band or bracket: Call our office during regular business hours and schedule a repair appointment. If the loose band or bracket is irritating the gums or cheek, place wax over the area. Remember to brush very well around the loose appliance, as it may tend to trap plaque.

Missing or broken elastic ties: Call our office during regular business hours and schedule an appointment to have missing or broken ties replaced. If the tie is missing or broken, the tooth can drift away from the archwire. This is particularly a problem if you are wearing rubber bands.