Call or text us right away if you experience an orthodontic emergency, like a broken or lost appliance, even if you have a regularly scheduled appointment soon. We’ll guide you to manage the problem until you can come in to see Dr. Washington.
The most common orthodontic emergencies are broken brackets or poking wires on braces. You can prevent most of these problems by following our food recommendations and care advice. Still, wires and brackets sometimes break even when you are being careful with what you eat and how you chew. Don’t stress. Get in touch with us right away to fix the problem and avoid treatment delay.
Loose Brackets or Bands
If a bracket, band or wire is loosened, please call our office immediately; the brackets may need to be refitted. If you need to cut a wire in case of emergency, we recommend using fingernail clippers that have been washed and sterilized in alcohol. You may also need to slide a bracket off at night or over a weekend before you are able to come to our office. Please call our office on the next business day so we can schedule an appointment for you.
Poking Wires or Wire Irritations
If the wire is irritating your cheeks or gums, you can move it away from the irritated area by using a cotton swab or eraser. If you cannot move the wire, cover the end of it with a small piece of cotton or wax to relieve irritation. If the wire is still painful, you can cut it with nail clippers or scissors that have been washed and sterilized in alcohol. If you need to cut the wire or cannot resolve the wire irritation, call us for an appointment.
Many patients lose a separator over the course of their treatment. If you lose a separator, call our office to see if it needs to be replaced.
Discomfort With Braces and Orthodontic Treatment
During the first week after your braces are placed and after routine adjustments, you may feel some soreness or discomfort. This is normal, and you do not need to worry. You may want to take acetaminophen or another non-aspirin pain reliever if your teeth are sore after adjustment appointments. You may also wish to use a warm washcloth or heating pad to reduce soreness in the jaws.