True orthodontic emergencies are very rare, but when they do occur we are available for you. As a general rule, you should call the office when you experience unusual discomfort (eg. wire poking into cheek), or when you have a problem with your braces, wires, elastics or appliance. We will schedule an emergency appointment, or provide you with instructions to temporarily resolve the problem until your next visit. Outside of regular office hours, messages left on the answering machine will be checked daily and all calls will be returned as soon as possible.
You might be surprised to learn that you may be able to temporarily solve many problems yourself until we are able to properly address the problem. When working with your devices, it is important to understand what part is broken or out of place. Please review the video below to help identify the main parts of your braces. After this, please refer to the videos and pictures below to help you identify what is wrong and how to temporarily resolve the issue. After alleviating your discomfort, it is very important that you call our office as soon as possible to schedule an appointment. Allowing your orthodontic devices to remain damaged for an extended period of time may result in disruptions to your treatment plan.
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. 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.
There are many options out there (usually readily available at your local drug store) that will help keep you comfortable and may even speed up the healing process of present sores. The most common remedy is dental wax. Dental wax offers a barrier between the braces or appliance and the rest of your mouth. By taking a small piece, rolling it into a ball, and applying it to the area causing discomfort, you prevent the braces from adding further irritation and begin the healing process. Luckily our office is stocked full of dental wax! A common downfall of dental wax is if the area is extremely wet it will not adhere to the brackets or appliance.
Please call our office to schedule a repair appointment and don’t forget to bring all pieces that are loose with you when you arrive.