Although it’s rare, braces can cause minor dental and medical emergencies, requiring quick orthodontic action. Schedule a repair appointment with Rice Orthodontics if you experience:
Wires that touch your gums or the sides of your mouth may produce discomfort, pain, or swelling. If this happens, take an eraser or a cotton swab and try to move the wire away from the affected area.
If you can’t move the wire, cover it with wax or cotton to prevent further irritation and schedule an appointment to fix the wire. If the pain is too great to wait for repair, sterilize a pair of nail clippers or small scissors in hot water and alcohol, and gently cut away the wire, taking care not to cut your teeth or gums.
Separators are used to open up spaces between your back teeth, preparing them for braces or expanders. If your separator comes out, schedule an appointment to get a new one put in as soon as possible.
The sooner you replace the separator, the easier and less painful the replacement will be.
If your brackets or wires become loose, call us immediately to see if your braces need to be re-fitted. If the equipment is causing you pain or injury and you can’t wait to remove the bracket or cut the wires, do so with a sterilized pair of nail clippers.
Visit our offices as soon afterward as possible so that we can put your braces back in working order and prevent further injury.
Sore teeth are a normal reaction to having braces installed or tightened. To reduce the soreness, rinse your mouth out with salt water or hold a heating pad or warm washcloth to your jaw. You can use acetaminophen or other over-the-counter painkillers, but do not take aspirin.
If pain persists for more than a few days, schedule an orthodontic inspection to ensure that there are no problems with your braces.
Sometimes new braces can irritate your mouth, especially when you're eating. A small amount of non-medicinal relief wax makes an excellent buffer between the metal and your mouth.
Simply pinch off a small piece and roll it into a ball the size of a small pea. Flatten the ball and place it completely over the area of the braces causing irritation.
Then, you can eat more comfortably. If you accidentally swallow the wax, it’s not a problem. The wax is harmless.
Occasionally, the end of a wire will work itself out of place and irritate your mouth. Use a Q-tip or pencil eraser to push the wire so that it is flat against the tooth.
If the wire cannot be moved into a comfortable position, cover it with relief wax. (See Irritated of Lips or Cheeks above for instructions on applying relief wax.)
You'll need to make [Dr.] aware of the problem.
In a situation where the wire is extremely bothersome and you can't see [Dr.] anytime soon, you may, as a last resort, clip the wire.
Reduce the possibility swallowing the snipped piece of wire by using folded tissue or gauze around the area.
Use a pair of sharp clippers and snip off the protruding wire. Relief wax may still be necessary to provide comfort to the irritated area.
If your braces come loose in any way, call [Dr.] to determine the next steps.
Brackets are the parts of braces attached to teeth with a special adhesive. They are generally positioned in the center of each tooth. The bracket can be knocked off if you've eaten one of those hard or crunchy foods you are instructed to avoid, or if the mouth is struck while at play.
We encourage all patients, especially those with braces, to wear a protective mouth guard while playing sports.
If the bracket is off center, the adhesive may have failed. In this instance, it is best to immediately notify [Dr.], who will determine the course of action.
If the loose bracket has rotated on the wire and is sticking out and you can't come to our office immediately, you can do a temporary fix to alleviate discomfort and prevent further damage, but take care to prevent swallowing or another injury.
To put the bracket back in place, use sterile tweezers to slide the bracket along the wire until it is between two teeth.
This is rare, but when it does happen, it can be alarming but stay calm.
If you're coughing excessively or having difficulty breathing, you may have inhaled the piece into your airways or lungs.
If you are able to see the piece, you may carefully attempt to remove it.
DO NOT make the attempt if you could cause harm.
If appropriate under the circumstances, examine your braces for problems that may result from the missing piece, such as looseness or irritation, and treat as specified above.
If you are unable to see the piece and believe it may be have been inhaled, call [Dr.] immediately.