Orthodontic Emergency Care

True orthodontic emergencies are very rare, but when they do occur we are available to you. As a general rule, you should call the office when you experience severe pain or when you have a painful appliance problem that you can’t take care of yourself.

If your emergency occurs during normal working hours, we will make every effort to immediately schedule an appointment to resolve the problem. Additionally, we provide an after hours Orthodontic emergency line to help you resolve any problems you may be experiencing. If necessary, Dr. Austin will meet you at the office for an emergency visit. In the event that you have a serious emergency and are unable to reach Dr. Austin, you should contact you general dentist or go to the nearest emergency room.

Loose Bracket or Band

If your bracket or band is still attached to the wire, you should leave it in place and put wax on it. If the wire comes out entirely, wrap the bracket with a tissue. A loose bracket is generally not considered an emergency and does not require immediate care.

Loose wire

Using tweezers, try to put the wire back into place. If doing this and using wax doesn’t help, as a last resort, use a small fingernail clipper to clip the wire behind the last tooth to which it is securely fastened. If your discomfort continues, place wax or sugarless gum on it.

Loose appliance

If your appliance is poking you, place wax on the offending part of your appliance. If a large appliance, such as an expander or MARA, comes loose immediate attention may be required, your appliance is custom made to your mouth so make every effort to save the appliance and bring it with you to the next appointment. Lost appliances will result in treatment delays and additional fees.

When working with your appliances, you need to know the names of the parts of your appliances so you are able to identify what part is broken or out of place. After alleviating your discomfort, it is very important that you still call our office as soon as possible to schedule a time to repair the problem. Allowing your appliance to remain damaged for an extended period of time may result in disruptions in your treatment plan.

Poking Wire

Using a pencil eraser, push the poking wire down or place wax or sugarless gum on it to alleviate the discomfort.

General Soreness

When you get your braces on, you may feel general soreness in your mouth and teeth may be tender to biting pressures for three to five days. This can be relieved, by rinsing your mouth with a warm salt water mouthwash. Dissolve one tablespoon of salt in 8 ounces of warm water, and rinse your mouth vigorously. If the tenderness is severe, take whatever you normally take for headache or similar pain. Over the counter medications, such as, Tylenol®, Advil and Orabase will also help reduce your symptoms. We do not prescribe any medication for pain. The lips, cheeks and tongue may also become irritated for one to two weeks as they toughen and become accustomed to the surface of the braces. You can put wax on the braces to lessen this. We’ll show you how!

McKenna recommends Pasta if your teeth are sore. Facial application optional.

If you have any questions about Santa Monica Orthodontic care call (310) 393-8233