Ortho First Aid/Emergency Care

Orthodontic emergencies are very rare, but when they occur, we are always available to you. As a general rule, you should call the office when you experience severe pain or when you have a painful appliance problem that you can’t take care of yourself. We’ll be able to schedule an appointment to resolve the problem. Luckily, there are temporary solutions to most problems that you can take care of yourself. Below are things that can sometimes occur, as well as some remedies and instructions in case they do happen.

  • In general, we recommend that you take a mild analgesic such as acetaminophen (i.e. Tylenol) or ibuprofen (i.e Advil, Motrin) for discomfort. Of course, this is the protocol only if there are no known allergies to these medicines.
  • Your lips and cheeks must adjust to new objects rubbing against them, which takes some time. For open sores, which are common at the beginning of treatment or with new appliances, you can rinse with warm salt water to soothe and cleanse the area. Healing should resolve in 7-10 days.
  • Sometimes a long or poky wire can cause irritation. To resolve the discomfort, push the wire away from the area with the eraser end of a pencil or cotton swab. You can also use the provided wax or a cotton ball to cover the end of the wire. If the wire is sticking you and wax does not help, it can be cut with a small wire cutter or nail clipper close to the back of the last brace. If you cannot resolve the wire irritation, please call our office for an appointment.
  • If a brace becomes loose, while inconvenient, it is usually not cause for an emergency visit. It usually remains connected to the wire and tweezers can be used to reposition the brace if it flips around the wire and irritates the lip or cheeks. At your earliest convenience, call our office during regular business hours to schedule an appointment to repair the loose brace(s). *Even if you have an upcoming scheduled appointment, ALWAYS call ahead to make a team member aware of the loose brace/appliance, so that extra time can be allotted during that visit.*

If you have a Loose Expander/Appliance or Trauma to the mouth, please contact us immediately.