Orthodontic emergencies tend to be more of mishaps than true emergencies. Although things can go wrong that may cause discomfort, pain, or anxiety, the likelihood that you will be acutely hurt due to an orthodontic appliance is extremely unlikely.
If any of the circumstances listed below should happen to you, however, and you are unable to repair it or alleviate the pain yourself, it is important that you contact us immediately to schedule a visit for emergency care. We will make every effort to see you as quickly as possible so that we can alleviate your pain and repair the problem.
Generalized soreness is common both when you first get your braces and after each adjustment. This tenderness typically lasts for up to five days and can be relieved by using warm, salt water mouthwashes or over-the-counter pain relievers. For more information on coping with soreness, visit our Life With Braces page.
If one of the archwires from your braces comes loose, you can try to put the wire back in place with a pair of tweezers. You will need to gently slide it back into place, being careful not to permanently bend it. When a wire comes loose, it can also cause irritation to the gums. If this happens, you can try using wax or wet cotton to cover that area of your braces or your gums.
Sometimes a wire will work its way out so that it doesn’t come off but a tip pokes out into your mouth. This can cause considerable irritation and discomfort. If it happens to you, you can try using a pencil eraser to push the wire down and away from your mouth. You can also try using wax or wet cotton to alleviate the discomfort.
Lost Retainers or Separators
It may not seem like an emergency, but if you lose your retainers, it is important that you contact us right away to have them replaced. Without your retainers, your teeth will quickly begin to move back into their original positions, and you will lose all of the hard “work” you put into them.
Loose Brackets or Bands
If your brackets or bands become loose, you may need emergency care, contact us immediately to schedule an appointment. Remember to bring all components with you to your appointment.
If part of your appliance is loose or poking you, try putting wax over the part that is causing the irritation. If you develop a sore due to a poking appliance, you can try using a topical anesthetic like Orajel to relieve the pain.
Your Headgear Hurts or Does Not Fit
If your headgear is causing you considerable discomfort, it may be because you are not wearing it properly or you are not wearing it for the full amount of prescribed hours. Be sure to follow the headgear instructions given to you by the doctor. If the facebow is bent, however, be sure to call us to have it adjusted – it may not need emergency care, but it does need to be corrected.
If you have any questions or concerns about your braces, please feel free to contact us or schedule an appointment. We have three treatment locations conveniently located in Milwaukee, Racine, and Brookfield.