In some cases, you may need to contact our office for help in handling an emergency. If after hours, please call the office and follow the instructions on the recording for reaching a member of our team. It is often helpful to have certain items handy in the event a common orthodontic emergency arises. Some items you may find useful are as follows: dental floss, orthodontic wax, sterilized tweezers and small clippers, Q-tips, toothpicks, topical anesthetic and non-prescription pain relievers, such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen.
Below are some common orthodontic emergencies you may encounter while undergoing treatment at our office.
Irritation from an appliance may cause some patients to develop mouth sores on the cheeks, lips or tongue. You may relieve the discomfort by using a cotton swab to apply a topical anesthetic to the sore area. We recommend an anesthetic such as Ora-Gel or Brace Relief Ortho Gel.
Food Caught In Teeth
Sometimes you may get food trapped in between your teeth. This can easily be remedied with a piece of dental floss. An interproximal brush or a toothpick can also help dislodge any trapped food in your teeth or appliance.
Ligatures That Have Come Off
If a patient notices that a ligature has come off, they may be able to put it back by using a pair of sterile tweezers. If the wire is protruding and irritating the mouth, you may bend the wire down with a pencil eraser until you can get in to our office.
If a wire comes out of place and begins causing irritation, a pencil eraser or Q-tip can be used to bend the wire down to reduce irritation. Covering the wire with orthodontic wax can also relieve any discomfort if the wire cannot be moved. Clipping the wire should be a last resort option if you are unable to come into our office.
If a bracket has become loose or displaced, you should immediately notify our office to determine if the bracket needs to be refitted. If you cannot come in to see us, you may be able to place the bracket back in place using a pair of sterile tweezers to slide the bracket back along the wire.
Swallowed Pieces of Appliance
Although extremely uncommon, a piece of the appliance may be swallowed if it becomes loose or broken. First, remain calm. If you can easily see the piece, you may carefully try to remove it. Call our office for instructions if further medical attention is needed.