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. We'll be able to schedule an appointment to resolve the problem.
You might be surprised to learn that you may be able to temporarily solve many problems yourself until you schedule an appointment with our office. 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 to see if it is necessary 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.
If you or your child is uncomfortable and you cannot correct the problem yourself, please call our office at 405-947-1526. If you call after hours, follow the instructions given to page our on-call clinician. They will return your call promptly and help you.
After the initial placement of braces or following an adjustment, the teeth may be tender for a couple of days. This occasionally happens and will pass. An over the counter pain reliever such as Advil or Tylenol may be helpful in alleviating this initial soreness. Rinsing your mouth with a teaspoon of salt dissolved in a glass of warm water also can be soothing.
If a rubber spacer falls out, take two pieces of dental floss and insert them through the spacer. Then pull on both pieces of floss to stretch the spacer back and forth between the two teeth where it belongs. When the bottom half of the spacer slips under the tight spot between the teeth, release and remove the floss. The spacer should now be back in place.
It is possible for the wire to protrude from the back brace. This problem can be solved by taking a nail clipper and snipping the wire as close as possible to the brace. If you cannot clip the wire, placing some wax on it will help to keep you comfortable.
Wire out of a Brace
If the main wire has come out of the tube on the back molar tooth, you may attempt to reinsert the wire with a pair of needle-nosed pliers or tweezers. If you are having a difficult time and the wire is not sticking you, place a piece of wax over the area. If the wire is sticking you and wax does not help, the wire can be cut with a small wire cutter or toenail clipper close to the back of the last brace.
Broken Brace If a bracket (the small rectangular brace) is loose, it usually will remain connected to the main wire by a little rubber ring that is often colored. You may use a pair of tweezers to reposition the brace if it flips around the wire and becomes a source of irritation. Please let our office know you have a loose brace, so we can be prepared at your next visit to repair the brace. If you have an appliance that happens to come off, please do not discard it! Bring it with you to your next appointment so that we can repair or replace it.
If the main wire breaks, take a pair of nail clippers and cut the wire as close as possible to the next brace it is attached to. You may also need to place wax over the cut end of the wire. Please call our office so we can schedule an appointment to repair the wire.
Tie has come off of a Brace
If the "O-tie" has come loose, see if the wire is attached to the brace with a small wire thread or ligature. If so, it should be fine until the next appointment. If there is no ligature on the tooth, please call our office to schedule an appointment to place a new "O-tie" on the brace.
Expander is Loose
If an expander becomes loose we do not want you to activate it until you are seen. Usually the expander can be pushed back onto the tooth until you can get back into our office. Sticky foods are usually the cause of this.
Poking Wire Tie
Sometimes to secure the brace to the wire we twist a very small stainless steel ligature around it. Infrequently it is possible for the twisted end of the ligature to move and start to feel sharp. If this happens simply use the eraser end of a pencil or a Q-tip to gently push it into a comfortable position.
Lost or Broken Retainer
If you lose or break a removable appliance or retainer, please call our office during office hours or leave a message. We will schedule an appointment for you to make a new one.