Orthodontic emergencies can often be taken care of at home. That being said, don’t feel you are on your own; guidance and helpful advice is just a phone call away! If you are able to fix the problem on your own, we ask that you make us aware of the issue by calling the office during regular business hours so that we can be prepared to repair the problem. Regular scheduled visits are not always long enough to correct these types of issues. In addition, if a part of your braces falls out or is loose, please bring the piece to the office.
Achy teeth are a sign that your teeth are moving. The discomfort typically lasts up to three days after your visit. The feeling is like having a light headache: at times you are aware of it and other times you are not. The best solution is to take the same over-the-counter pain medication you would take for a headache.
Loose Band or Bracket
A loose bracket will slide or spin on the wire. A loose band will move up and down allowing food to get trapped under it which can cause decay (i.e. the beginning of a cavity). If either of these occurs, leave the piece in place and call the office to schedule a time to get it repaired. Wax can be used to keep the bracket from moving if needed. If the band or bracket comes out of your mouth please put it in a bag and bring to the office.
Loose or Poking Wire
Orthodontic wires can be very flexible. If a wire slides out of a bracket or band, tweezers can be used to push the wire back in place. When a small wire is rubbing the lip or cheeks, try to use a pencil eraser or spoon to tuck the wire down. Dental wax can be used to minimize irritation of the lip or cheek. First dry the area surrounding the loose or poking wire by sucking air into your mouth. Then hold a pea- or blueberry-sized piece of wax on the loose or poking wire for a few seconds. Warm salt water rinses are very helpful for irritations. Simply dissolve 1 teaspoon of salt in 6oz. warm (not hot) water and sip, swish, and spit until the solution is finished.
Lost Color Tie or Tiewire
The ties are what hold the wire to the braces. If a tie falls off, you can wait for your next visit if it is within two weeks. If your next visit is in more than two weeks, call the office to schedule a repair.
A loose or broken expander or space maintainer can be left in place if you are unable to take it out with light finger pressure. When you are able to remove an appliance, please save all the pieces in a bag and bring them to the office. Call the office for advice and to schedule a visit for a repair or replacement.
The separators (also known as spacers) are small blue rubber bands placed between the teeth to make space before a band can be fit on a tooth. If a separator falls out the day before your visit, the space will still be available for us to complete the work. If your appointment is in two or more days, please call the office.
Lost or Broken Retainer
Retainers are important to maintain the orthodontic correction. A broken retainer may not fit properly and can potentially move your teeth to the wrong position. If your retainer is lost, you can look for it for 1-2 days, but don’t wait too long or the teeth will begin to move. Teeth that move may need to be retreated with braces. If you are unable to wear your retainer for any reason, call the office. Be sure to tell us how long it has been since the last time you wore the retainer.
Lost or Broken Invisalign® Aligner
The solution to a problem with Invisalign® depends on how long you have worn the current aligner. If the aligner has been worn less than one week, then use the previous aligner. If the aligner has been worn for more than seven days, try to place the next aligner if you have it. In all circumstances, do not stop wearing an aligner and call the office to let us know what has happened. A replacement aligner can be ordered if you tell us which one was lost and which aligner you are currently wearing.