What to Do in Case of an Emergency?
Should a bracket or an appliance ever break or become loose, please give our office a call. We will set up an appointment to fit you into our schedule and make sure that we have enough time to correct the problem. In order to do this, we will need some basic information. What is the problem? Is it a broken appliance, or is the wire loose? Which tooth is it on?
A Loose Bracket or a Loose Band?
If a bracket or a band ever comes loose please call our office and schedule an appointment to have it repaired or recemented. Appointments to repair broken brackets and bands usually require at least 30 minutes of time. We will need to remove and replace the archwires, clean the tooth, and then adhere the bracket or band.
A poking archwire can cause discomfort by poking the cheek. It usually occurs when crooked teeth align at the beginning of treatment. The wire that runs between the brackets of the crooked teeth will begin to push out the end of the back brackets as the teeth straighten out. Wax may provide only transient relief in this case. Having you visit our office and having us adjust the wire and cut off any excess length best corrects a poking archwire. Please call our office so that we can schedule an appointment for you that will give us enough time to make the correction for you.
Soreness from Separators or Missing Separators
A separator is a small, thick blue rubber ring that is used separate, or move teeth apart, so that a band, or a metal ring can be placed around it. They may be used on a back tooth or two. Separators are typically placed using dental floss or a special separator plier. The process of placing a separator takes only a few seconds and is relatively pain free. Immediately after a separator is placed it will feel tight. The tightness will quickly fade. It is common for teeth being separated to become sore 4 to 6 hours later. Separator soreness may last 3 to 5 days and is best relieved by over the counter pain medicine such as Aleve or Tylenol.
Please check your separators each day. Should you notice one is missing, please call our office so that we can see if it is important to have the missing separator replaced. A separator usually falls out because the teeth have been pushed apart.
Discomfort from Orthodontic Treatment
It is common for patients to experience some discomfort or soreness during the first week after having braces placed or having an archwire adjustment. We recommend taking acetaminophen (Tylenol), ibuprofen (Advil), or another non-aspirin pain reliever while you get used to your new braces. A warm washcloth or a heating pad may also be used to reduce your soreness and make you more comfortable.