Emergency Care

Accidents Can Happen!

True orthodontic emergencies are very rare, but when they do occur we are available to you!  As a general rule, you should call our office when you experience severe pain, bleeding, or have a painful appliance problem you can’t take care of yourself.  While all of these are very rare, please call our office and we will schedule a time right away to get you comfortable.  If it is after hours, call our normal number, press -0- at the end of the message and you will be connected to Dr. Olsen. Many times he can talk you through ways to get your child or yourself comfortable until we can meet during normal business hours.  

Emergency Care

Temporary Tips & Tricks

You might be surprised to learn that there are many things you can do to solve many problems yourself temporarily until you can get to our office. If there is a loose piece that you can remove, put it in a plastic bag and bring it with you to your next appointment.

If your braces are poking you, place soft wax on the piece that’s sticking out. You can find the wax in the hygiene kit that we gave you or at your local drugstore. If the wire has slid to one side, you can pull it back to the other side with needle-nosed pliers, and replace it in the tube on the back tooth.

After alleviating your discomfort, it is very important that you still call our office to schedule a time when our schedule works with your schedule to repair the problem. Allowing your appliance to remain damaged for an extended period of time may result in disruptions to your treatment plan.

General Soreness

When you get your braces on, you may feel general soreness in your mouth, and teeth may be tender to biting pressures for three to five days. This is normal and we promise, it goes away!  Stick to a soft diet until your teeth do not hurt while chewing.  You can also take Tylenol or whatever you take for a headache to take the edge off for the first few days. 

Irritated gums and other sore spots can be relieved by rinsing your mouth with a warm salt-water. Dissolve one teaspoonful of salt in eight ounces of warm water, and rinse your mouth vigorously. 

Emergency Home Care

If the tenderness is severe, take Acetaminophen (Tylenol) or whatever you normally take for headache or similar pain. Aspirin, Ibuprofen (Motrin, Advil), and Naproxen Sodium (Naprosyn, Anaprox) actually slow the tooth movement, so it is not advisable to use them frequently while wearing braces.

The lips, cheeks, and tongue may become irritated for a week or two as they become accustomed to the new braces or appliances.  Again, wax is your best friend when it comes to getting used to things!  

Loose Appliance

Often times a loose appliance is more annoying than it is painful. Most times if a band has come loose, it can be pushed back onto the tooth to make it more comfortable until we can find time during normal business hours to get the appliance recemented. If you are concerned after hours, call our normal number and press -0- after the message to be connected to Dr. Olsen for instructions.

Loose Bracket

Most times brackets come loose because of something you eat, so please be careful with your braces!

Keeping the braces in place helps treatment proceed faster and helps us get them off in the estimated time. If, in the unlikely event that If your bracket or band is still attached to the wire, you should leave it in place and place wax on it if needed for comfort. If the bracket or band can be removed easily, place it in a plastic bag to bring to your next appointment.

Loose Wire

Using a pair of tweezers or needle-nosed pliers, try to put your wire back into place. It is okay 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.

While most patients can find a comfortable position to place the offending wire for a short time until we can meet in the office, if you’re still uncomfortable, use a fingernail clipper to clip the wire as close to the bracket on the last tooth to which a brace is securely fastened. If the end of the wire is still sharp, place wax on it.

Poking Wire

Often times a pencil eraser can be used to push the poking wire down or place wax on it so it is no longer poking.

Emergency Home Care for Braces