Emergency Orthodontic Care

True orthodontic emergencies are rare, but when they occur we are available to you. If you are experiencing discomfort, you should call our office so we can determine if an emergency appointment is needed. If an orthodontic emergency arises outside of office hours or on the weekend, please don't hesitate to still contact our office where Dr. Wilke or an on-call staff member will be available to help.

You might be surprised to learn that you may be able to solve many problems yourself temporarily until you can get to our office for your next appointment where we can professionally repair the problem. Here are some ways to alleviate discomfort and avoid an emergency appointment.

General Soreness

After getting braces on or a wire changed, you may feel general discomfort in your mouth and your teeth may be tender to biting pressures for three to five days. It is advised to stick to soft and cold foods such as ice water, ice cream, pudding, pasta or mashed potatoes until tenderness disappears. It is also normal for the lips, cheeks, and tongue to become irritated within the first two weeks as they toughen and become accustomed to the braces. We supply wax that you can apply to the braces in irritated areas to lessen this discomfort.

Irritated gums and other sore spots can be relieved by rinsing your mouth with a warm salt-water rinse. Dissolve one teaspoonful of salt in eight ounces of warm water, and rinse your mouth vigorously. You may also take OTC pain relievers to alleviate some of the discomfort. 

Poking Wire or Wire Tie Around Bracket

Sometimes a wire may shift in the mouth or become long as a result of the teeth moving. If a wire is poking in the mouth or a wire tie is catching on your lip, you can use a blunt instrument such as the eraser end of a pencil to carefully push the wire back. You can also place wax on the poking wire to reduce contact. You may attempt to trim the end of the wire using a fingernail clipper, but use caution to not let the cut wire fall into the patient's mouth. If your wire is broken or you still remain uncomfortable, call our office to schedule an emergency appointment.


Loose Bracket

Don't be alarmed if a bracket comes off a tooth. This happens occasionally and is usually a result of eating hard or sticky foods. Depending on the location and function of the loose bracket you may be able to wait until your next scheduled appointment to repair the bracket or, you may be advised to schedule an emergency appointment to make sure treatment is kept on track. Wax can be placed or the bracket if irritation occurs.

Loose Appliance

Please call our office in you notice your appliance is loose. This includes a Mara, Forsus, Tandem RPE or LLA. Allowing your appliance to remain damaged for an extended period of time may result in disruptions to your treatment plan.


Blue Separator Fell Out

A loss of a blue separator happens from time to time. If a blue separator has fallen out before your next appointment you can take a piece of floss and double it up. If the floss slides easily in and out of the spot where the blue separator was placed, you do not need to come back before your next appointment to have it replaced. This means there is enough space there to cement your appliance. If there is some resistance moving the floss in and out of that space, please call our office to have it replaced.


Colored A-Ties or Power Chains

If you lose a single colored A-Tie there is no need to come in before your next appointment. They are just on the bracket for fun! Power Chains and connected colored chains are a little different. They help eliminate space between your teeth. If your chain breaks, please call our office to determine if an emergency appointment is needed.


Direct Injuries to the Mouth

​Unfortunatley, accidents sometimes happen. If an injury occurs to the mouth, immediately ice the injured area. Contact your general dentist as soon as possible then follow up with us. It is best to contact your general dentist first since we may not have the necessary materials or anesthesia required to treat these injuries. We can schedule an emergency appointment if your appliance or braces need to be repaired.


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