While it’s rare for someone to experience an orthodontic emergency, in the event that an orthodontic emergency does occur, the following can help you ease the discomfort until you can attend an appointment.
Emergency vs. non-emergency
There are temporary solutions available to you should an issue with your orthodontic treatment arise. In some cases you may be able to solve the issues yourself prior to coming in for an appointment. Nevertheless, it’s important to recognise the difference between an emergency and a non-emergency case. We’ve put together a comprehensive list below to help you distinguish and perhaps address any issues you may have with your orthodontic appliance as you wait for your appointment. Believe it or not, there are temporary solutions to most problems and in some cases you can even solve the issue yourself prior to coming in for a visit.
Irritated or sore mouth
This situation is completely normal. When you first start your orthodontic treatment, it is common to experience some level of discomfort due to the pressure being applied to your teeth. Your teeth and gums will be tender for up to 3-5 days. You can alleviate the discomfort by rinsing your mouth with warm saltwater, eating soft foods and taking a mild pain reliever.
Appliance is loose
If your appliance is loose, it may cause discomfort to the teeth, mouth or gums. The pain may be coming from the appliance rubbing against the gums and the side of your mouth. You can manage the irritation using dental bracket wax which can be found at your local chemist at an affordable price until we refit the appliance again.
The bracket is loose
If your bracket is loose (come off the tooth) but is still attached to the write, you can apply dental wax to the bracket to keep it in place until your next appointment. It is advisable to schedule an appointment with us for reattachment.
On occasion the wire of your braces can come loose, you can definitely manage it until you’re able to come into our orthodontist practice. If possible, you use tweezers to try and put your wire back into place and dental wax to hold it into place. As a last resort, you can use fingernail clippers to cut the wire behind the last tooth to which it is securely fastened.
The wire is poking into your mouth
This can be addressed until you come in and see us. You can use a pencil eraser to push the poking wire down or place wax on it to alleviate the discomfort.
Separators slowly nudge the teeth apart so that bands can be replaced on a regular basis. If the space between the teeth opens quickly, the separator can fall out. Unless you have an appointment within a couple of days, it’s best to make an appointment to have it replaced. If a separator becomes lodged underneath the gum and you are unable to remove it, contact us immediately to arrange an emergency appointment. One of our experienced orthodontists will remove it for you.
Lost elastic bands
These rubber bands are used to help realign and treat over and underbites. These rubber bands hook between your brackets towards the back of your mouth. Sometimes they may snap off, come off and you may swallow them. Luckily they’re not harmful! You will be given a plentiful supply of rubber bands which you can easily replace yourself.