True orthodontic emergencies are very rare, but when they do occur we are available to help you resolve them either over the phone or bring you in for an emergency appointment. Even if you have an upcoming appointment scheduled, call us in prior to your appointment to notify us if you need your appliance repaired. 

There are a lot of orthodontic emergencies that can be temporarily resolved at home until you schedule an emergency appointment with our office. After alleviating your problem, you should still contact our office for an appointment to permanently repair the problem. Allowing your appliance to remain damaged for an extended period of time may result in disruptions in your treatment plan. 

Here are some common solutions that may help you relieve your discomfort: 

Initial Discomfort: 

     Braces:

  • When you get your braces on, you may feel general soreness in your mouth and teeth. Your teeth might be tender to biting pressures for about a week. An anti-inflammatory pain reliever such as Advil/Ibuprofen usually relieves the pain. It may be necessary to take Advil for three to five days. 
  • Eating softer foods during this time is a good idea, especially just after you get your braces.
  • The lips, cheeks, and tongue may also become irritated for one to two weeks, as it takes some time for them to toughen and become accustomed to the surface of the braces. Placing Orabase®/OraGel on the affected area may help; this can be found in any pharmacy. You can also put wax on the braces to lessen this

     Invisalign:

  • When you start wearing your Invisalign trays/Aligner, the amount of tooth soreness is slightly less than what someone with braces would experience. Teeth are usually sore for the first day of every new tray till you get to tray #10-15. An anti-inflammatory pain reliever such as Advil/Ibuprofen will control this pain.
  • Eating softer foods during the first two days of every day might help the discomfort.
  • Unlike braces, the lips/cheeks do not get irritated to the same extent. You might feel the edges of the aligners being rough and this can be rectified with a nail file. 

Poking Wire: 

A wire poking can cause sore lip or cheeks, and a canker sore may result.

  • Use the eraser end of a pencil to push the wire away from the gum tissue.
  • Use Orthodontic wax (from your patient kit) to cover the poking wire.
  • Using a tweezers, try to place your wire back into place. 
  • For a long wire, cut the wire behind the last tooth, which is securely fastened, with a nail clipper, which has been washed well and sterilized with Isopropyl Alcohol; catch the loose end with a folded tissue. 
  • Rinsing with one-half teaspoon of salt dissolved in a glass of warm water three to four times a day, will help to heal most mouth sores caused by poking wire. 

Loose Bracket/Band: 

  • If a bracket detaches from the tooth, or a band on your back tooth is moving up and down, you will need to schedule an appointment so we can repair it. Please save the bracket or band, and bring it to your repair appointment. This will save a lot of time, as the bands are custom made for you. 
  • If your bracket or band is still attached to the wire, you should leave it in place and put wax on it.

Lost Separator: 

  • A separator is an elastic, which is placed between your back teeth to create space before cementing a band around your molar. If a separator comes out, the teeth may move together and will make banding the tooth very uncomfortable. Please call our office, and we will decide if it should be replaced. 
  • It is also important, that the top of the separator at the chewing surface of the tooth always be visible. If it slips down below your gums, try to lift it up gently, so the top of the separator is over your tooth as shown below. If you are unsuccessful, please call our office as soon as possible.

Lost or Broken Retainer: 

  • If you lose or break your retainer, you will most likely require an impression appointment to facilitate repair or replacement. Call our office, as soon as possible. You do not want to be without your retainer for too long, and risk having your teeth move.

Broken Tooth/Sports Injury: 

  • In case of a dental emergency, such as a broken or chipped tooth, contact your family dentist first, since we may not have the necessary materials needed to treat these injuries. 
  • If a tooth is knocked out, do not attempt to place it back in its socket; this could cause further damage. Place the displaced tooth in milk and call your family dentist, or go immediately to the emergency dental clinic at the hospital. You have the best chance of saving the tooth if it replaced within thirty minutes.