Emergency Information
What to Do in Case of Emergency

metal-braces

The first thing to do during an orthodontic emergency is to keep calm. There are actually very few true orthodontic emergencies and many issues that arise actually have quick, easy fixes.

A quick note: After using one of the "quick fixes" below, it's still important to call our office as soon as possible to schedule a repair appointment. Please do not come directly to the office – by calling us, you will allow us to create a time to see you. Even if you have a regular appointment scheduled, call us immediately if you need an appliance repaired.

Broken Bracket or Wire

A broken bracket or wire is one of the most common problems that occurs for individuals undergoing orthodontic treatment. In fact, at some point you'll likely encounter a situation at night or over the weekend that requires cutting a wire or sliding a bracket off a wire. If you need to cut a wire, you may use fingernail clippers that have been washed and sterilized in alcohol. As mentioned above, please call our office the next business day so that we may schedule an appointment for you.

Broken Bracket or Wire

A broken bracket or wire is one of the most common problems that occurs for individuals undergoing orthodontic treatment. In fact, at some point you'll likely encounter a situation at night or over the weekend that requires cutting a wire or sliding a bracket off a wire. If you need to cut a wire, you may use fingernail clippers that have been washed and sterilized in alcohol. As mentioned above, please call our office the next business day so that we may schedule an appointment for you.

Wire Irritations

Sometimes discomfort caused by a poking wire on your braces can be resolved by moving the wire away from the irritated area with a cotton swab or eraser. If the wire will not move easily, you can try covering the end of it with a small amount of wax or a piece of cotton. If the wire is painful you can cut it with nail clippers or scissors; just make sure any equipment or utensils you use have been thoroughly washed and sterilized in alcohol. If the above solution doesn't work, please call our office on the next business day to schedule your repair appointment.

Lost Separator/Spacer

While losing a separator can seem like a big deal, the fact is that most patients will lose at least one separator or spacer at some point during their treatment. They sometimes fall out because more space has formed. You may even find out at your next appointment that you do not need to replace the missing separator or spacer!

Loose Expander or Appliance

As your oral composition is changing due to shifting teeth, an expander may become loose. If this happens, the first thing to do is to pinpoint exactly where it is coming loose. If you find the expander is loose on one side but not the other, simply push on the loose side until it feels seated again. If this becomes an ongoing issue, please schedule an appointment with our office and we will thoroughly clean your appliance and position it back into place.

Discomfort with Orthodontic Treatment

During the first week after your braces are in place and routine adjustments are complete, you will likely feel some pain, soreness, or discomfort. You may take acetaminophen or other non-aspirin pain relievers while you adjust to your new braces. A warm wash cloth or heating pad may reduce the soreness in your jaw.

Remember to schedule your appointment in an emergency situation

As we mentioned earlier, few orthodontic issues are true emergencies, and if you follow the instructions above, you'll be able to temporarily fix 99% of orthodontic issues that arise at night or on weekends. However, to ensure that your orthodontic treatment continues to work and function normally, it is important to schedule your orthodontic repair appointment as soon as possible.


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