Help! | Emergency Care

True orthodontic emergencies are rare, but when they occur, we are available to you. As a general rule, you should call our office when you experience severe pain or have a painful appliance problem that you can’t take care of yourself. We can also be reached by e-mail at: if you need us after office hours. We will happily be able to schedule an appointment to resolve the problem.

You might be surprised to learn that you can solve many "orthodontic emergencies" yourself temporarily until you can get to our office.

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 may result in disruptions in your treatment plan.

General soreness

When you get your braces on, you may feel general soreness in your mouth, and your teeth may be tender to biting pressures for three to five days. Typically, we are firm believers that distraction is the best medicine, so stay busy, clean your room, hang out with friends, go to the park etc... will do the trick! If you feel that the pain is severe and medication is needed, we suggest over the counter analgesics, (ie the same medication you would take for a mild headache).

If sores appear on your cheaks or lips, rinsing your mouth with a warm salt-water mouthwash can be helpful. Dissolve one teaspoonful of salt in eight ounces of warm water and then rinse your mouth vigorously.

Placing Orabase on the affected area may also help. You will be given samples during your bonding appointment, but it can also be found in a pharmacy.

The lips, cheeks, and tongue may also become irritated for one to two weeks as they toughen and become accustomed to the surface of the braces. You can put wax on the braces to lessen this. We’ll show you how!

Loose appliance

If any part of your appliance is poking you, place wax on the offending part and give our office a call to find a convenient time to come in.

Loose bracket

If you notice that one of your brackets or bands has become loose and is still attached to the wire, you should leave it in place and put wax on it to provide stability. If the wire comes out entirely, wrap the bracket with a tissue.

Loose wire

Using a pair of tweezers, try to put your wire back into place and add wax for stability. If doing this and using wax doesn’t help, as a last resort, use a small fingernail clipper or cuticle cutter to clip the wire behind the last tooth to which it is securely fastened. If your discomfort continues, place wax on it.

Poking wire

Using a pencil eraser, push the poking wire down or into its original position until it is no longer irritating the surrounding tissue. Place wax on it to alleviate the discomfort.

Reverse Pull Facemask

Sometimes headgear discomfort is caused by not wearing the headgear as instructed by your orthodontist. Please refer to the instructions provided by Dr. Royal. If the facebow is bent, call our office for assistance. The headgear should hurt less the more it’s worn, so be sure to get in the prescribed hours.