We recognize that emergency situations do arise and will do our best to respond promptly. If no one is available to take your call please leave a message on the answering machine. In addition, you can take a photo of the problem and email it to email@example.com so we can evaluate how much time you will need to address the issue. We usually respond in less than 24 hours, and can often provide emergency care on a same day basis. You might be surprised to learn that you may be able to solve many problems yourself temporarily until you can get to our office. If there is a loose piece that you can remove, put it in a plastic bag or envelope and bring it with you to your next appointment. If your braces are poking you, put soft wax on the piece that's sticking out. If a colored oring is missing you can tie a piece of floss over the archwire around the bracket to hold the wire in place. If the wire has slid to one side, you can pull it back to the other side with needle-nosed pliers, replacing it in the tube on the back tooth of the opposite side.
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 to your treatment plan.
Also see "life with braces."
When you get your braces on, you may feel general soreness in your mouth, and teeth may be tender to biting pressures or cold temperatures for three to five days. Stick to a soft diet until your teeth do not hurt to chewing. Irritated gums and other sore spots can be relieved by rinsing your mouth with a warm salt-water mouthwash. Dissolve one teaspoonful of salt in eight ounces of warm water, and rinse your mouth vigorously. An alternative (better tasting) mouthwash is the Healthy Gums Rinse by The Natural Dentist. Placing Orabase or a cream for denture sores on the affected area may also help relieve discomfort; Orabase can be found in a pharmacy. If the tenderness is severe, take Acetaminophen (Tylenol) or whatever you normally take for headache or similar pain. Aspirin, Ibuprofen (Motrin, Advil) and Naproxen Sodium (Naprosyn, Anaprox) actually slow the tooth movement, so it is not advisable to use them frequently while wearing braces.
The lips, cheeks, and tongue may become irritated for one to two weeks as they learn a new posture and become accustomed to the surface of the braces. You can put wax on the braces to decrease these irritations. We'll show you how!
Sometimes discomfort is caused by not wearing the headgear as instructed by your orthodontist. Please refer to the instructions provided by Dr. Okun. If the facebow (metal piece) is bent, please call our office for assistance. The headgear should hurt less the more it's worn, so be sure you get in the prescribed number of hours.
Poking or sharp appliance
If your appliance is poking you, place wax on the offending part. If the loose piece can easily be removed, take it out of your mouth and bring it to your next appointment.
If your bracket or band is still attached to the wire, you should leave it in place and put wax on it if needed for comfort. If the bracket or band can be removed easily, place it in an envelope and save it to bring to your next appointment.
Using a pair of tweezers or needle nose pliers, try to put your wire back into place. If it has slid from one side to the other, use a needle nose plier to pull it back to the center. You can use the small mirror from your toothbrush kit to see if it is still sticking out on one side. It is ok to use a piece of floss to tie the wire into place: tie the floss around the bracket in place of the missing colored o-ring. If you cannot put the wire into a comfortable position, and covering the end with wax doesn't help, as a last resort use a small fingernail clipper to clip the wire behind the last tooth to which it is securely fastened. If the end of the wire is still sharp place wax on it.
Using a pencil eraser, push the poking wire down or place wax on it so that it is no longer poking.
Replacing your separator
Separators are used to make space between teeth. Sometimes they make too much space and fall out. If your separators come out, you can replace them yourself using two pieces of floss. Thread both pieces of floss through the same separator and fold each back on itself to make handles. Pull the two handles to stretch the separator, and pull it between the proper two teeth. Carefukky remove the floss without pulling out the separator.