When it comes to orthodontics, it is rare that a true emergency occurs; however, while wearing orthodontic appliances, patients may occasionally encounter urgent concerns. Most commonly, these include things like loose or broken appliances (braces, springs, etc.), which can cause discomfort.
Ensuring Your Comfort
Your comfort is our top priority, so we invest in materials and appliances that we believe will be most likely to result in a successful and comfortable experience. We always use a gently progressing sequence of flexible wires so that each adjustment is as comfortable as possible. We use top of the line bonding materials from 3M Unitek to ensure that broken and loose appliances will be unlikely if you treat your braces with care. Using this advanced technology, in addition to individual attention and custom treatment plans, allows us to help you achieve the smile you’ve always wanted as quickly and comfortably as possible.
What to Do If You Experience an Orthodontic Issue
Urgent concerns in orthodontics can be addressed at home by clipping or removing an appliance (brace, wire, etc.) if it has become loose or broken. Often, a small piece of wax or sugarless chewing gum can be positioned over the end of a wire if it feels sharp or abrasive.
If an appliance has become loose, it will eventually need to be removed or re-cemented. Usually, if it isn't causing a problem, this can be done at your next visit. However, sometimes, depending on the type of appliance and timing during treatment, Dr. Bethany or Dr. Liz may instruct you to call right away to have your appliance replaced sooner.
A loose bracket (brace) will be apparent because you'll be able to move it up and down with your finger even if it's still attached to the wire. Often it can be repaired at your next visit, but we recommend calling the office to let us know. This way, we can advise you if the brace should be replaced or repaired sooner, or plan ahead to make time to replace it at your next visit.
If a wire feels like it's poking you, we recommend using a small piece of orthodontic wax (we will provide wax for you any time at our office, and usually you can find more in drugstores) or sugarless chewing gum to cover the poking end of the wire. If you're having trouble making the poking wire feel comfortable, you are welcome to call our office, and we'll be happy to schedule an appointment to adjust the wire and make it more comfortable!
Any time your braces are adjusted, you may feel some general soreness for the next few days. We recommend using an over the counter pain medication (such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen)—anything that you would usually take to treat a headache. Even though your teeth may be sore, we suggest that you try to eat foods that require gentle chewing (rather than sticking to a liquid diet). This helps to increase the blood flow around the roots of your teeth and should speed the process of relieving the soreness.
Whether you're wearing braces or not, experiencing a traumatic injury to your teeth or jaws requires urgent attention. Most often, trauma to the teeth and jaws is a result of sports injuries or accidents. These may include teeth being loosened or knocked out, swelling, bleeding, or broken bones. If you experience any of these things after a traumatic injury, you should call your physician or general dentist right away. After evaluating your injuries, your dentist may refer you to our office to repair or replace any broken orthodontic appliances.
If you're able to achieve a comfortable solution at home, most problems with your braces can be repaired at your next visit to our Hilliard orthodontic office. If you have questions or are unable to make your braces feel comfortable, we recommend calling Scioto Orthodontics to schedule an extra visit so that we can help you repair your braces sooner.