Orthodontic Emergencies

DON'T LET BRACES RUIN YOUR DAY!

WHAT TOOLS AND SUPPLIES WILL I NEED DURING MY TREATMENT?

While we will give you everything you need for your treatment here are some items that you may  find helpful to have:
• Dental floss

• Non-medicated
orthodontic relief wax
• Dental floss
• Sterile tweezers
• Small, sharp clipper
• Q-tips
• Salt
• Interproximal brush
• Toothpicks
• Topical Anesthetic
(such as Orabase or
Ora-Gel)
• Sterile tweezers
• Small, sharp clipper
• Q-tips
• Salt
• Interproximal brush
• Toothpicks
• Topical Anesthetic
(such as Orabase or
Ora-Gel)

I HAVE FOOD CAUGHT BETWEEN MY TEETH!

This is not an emergency, but can be a little uncomfortable or embarrassing for our patient. Rest assured there is easily fixed with a piece of dental floss. Try floss with a floss threader to help remove the food, or use an interproximal brush or toothpick to dislodge food caught between teeth and braces. You can also use "christmas tree brushes" which are found in most grocery, pharmacy and/or convenient stores.

THE COLOR-RING CAME OFF MY BRACKET!

Tiny rubber bands or small, fine wires, known as ligatures, hold the wire to the bracket. If a rubber ligature should come off, you may be able to put it back in place using sterile tweezers. If a wire ligature comes loose, simply remove it with sterile tweezers. If the wire ligature is sticking out into the lip but is not loose, it may be bent back down with a Q-tip or pencil eraser to eliminate the irritation. Of course, when one ligature pops off or breaks, others may follow. Be sure to examine all ligatures. Missing or broken ligatures should be brought to the attention of the patient’s parent/guardian, who should then inform the orthodontist. If a rubber or wire ligature is lost, notify the parent/guardian so that Dr Desai is contacted and he can advise whether the patient should be seen.

I AM FEELING DISCOMFORT...

It’s normal for a patient to have discomfort for a day or two after braces or retainers are adjusted. This can make eating uncomfortable, however this discomfort is normal, temporary and transient. During this initial phase of soreness it is best to eat softer foods and you can rinse your mouth with warm salt water.

MOUTH SORES?

Some patients are susceptible to episodes of mouth sores. While braces do not cause them, they may be precipitated or exacerbated by an irritation from braces. One or several areas of ulceration of the cheeks, lips or tongue may appear. This is not an emergency, but may be very uncomfortable for the patient. Prompt relief may be achieved by applying a small amount of topical anesthetic (such as Orabase or Ora-Gel) directly to the ulcerated surface using a cotton swab. Instruct the patient to reapply as needed.

MY LIPS AND CHEEKS ARE SORE.

Sometimes new braces can be irritating to the mouth, especially when the patient is eating. A small amount of non-medicinal relief wax makes an excellent buffer between metal and mouth. Simply pinch off a small piece and roll it into a ball the size of a small pea. Flatten the ball and place it completely over the area of the braces causing irritation. The was allows you to eat more
comfortably. If by chance the wax is accidentally ingested, it’s not a problem. The wax is harmless.

I HAVE A "POKEY" WIRE.

Occasionally the end of a wire will work itself out of place and irritate your mouth. Use a Q-tip or pencil eraser to push the wire so that it is flat against the tooth. If the wire cannot be moved into a comfortable position, cover it with relief wax. (See Irritation of Cheeks or Lips above for instructions on applying relief wax.) You will need to contact us to make us aware of the problem. In a situation where the wire is extremely bothersome and you are unable to see Dr. Desai soon, as a last resort, you may clip the wire with nail clippers. Reduce the possibility of swallowing the snipped piece of wire by using folded tissue or gauze around the area. Use a pair of sharp clippers and snip off the protruding wire. Relief wax may still be necessary to provide comfort to the irritated area.

I HAVE BROKEN/LOOSE BRACKET, BAND AND/OR WIRE.

If the braces have come loose in any way and you are comfortable then it is ok to wait until the following visit but before the visit please call the office to let us know so that we can schedule a longer visit to facilitate the repair. 

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Bands and brackets are the parts of braces attached to teeth with a special "glue". The bracket can be knocked off if the patient has eaten one of those hard or crunchy foods that orthodontic patients are instructed to avoid, or if the mouth is struck. If the loose bracket has rotated on the wire and is sticking out, and you cannot immediately be brought into the office, you can do a temporary fix to alleviate discomfort and prevent further damage. But take care to prevent swallowing or other injuries.

To put the bracket back in place, use clean tweezers to slide the bracket along the wire until it is between two teeth. Rotate the bracket back to the proper position, then slide it back to the center of the tooth.  If the color elastic can be wiggled off then do so and remove the bracket if you can do comfortably.

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