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Typical Orthodontic Emergencies & How To Solve Them

by Sacks Orthodontics

Common Orthodontic Emergencies & Solutions

  • Loose or Poking Archwires – If a wire causes irritation, push the wire away from the area using the eraser end of a pencil or a Q-tip. If you cannot tuck the wire away, cover the end of the wire with a small piece of wax or a cotton ball until you can see us for an adjustment if the main wire has come out of the tube on the back tooth, attempt to reinsert the wire with a pair of needle-nose pliers or tweezers. If the wire is sticking you, place a piece of wax over the area. As a last resort, if you cannot come into our office, the wire can be cut with a small wire cutter or fingernail clipper close to the back of the last brace.
  • Loose Brackets or Bands – If a bracket becomes loose, it usually remains connected to the main wire by a little colored rubber ring or a small steel ligature tie. You can use tweezers to reposition the brace if it flips around the wire and becomes a source of irritation. Call our office and inform us of the problem. If a piece of your braces breaks, save the piece and call our office to schedule a repair visit.
  • Lost Separators – In case a rubber spacer or separator falls out, call our office so that we can arrange to replace it for you. If it happens a day before your appointment to put on braces or bands, you do not need to do anything.
  • If You Swallow Something – Remain calm if you swallow a piece of your appliance. It will usually go into the stomach and pass out of the body in a bowel movement. However, if difficulty breathing is experienced, you should seek immediate medical attention. X-rays will be taken to determine the location of the swallowed piece.
  • Broken Retainer – If your retainer cracks or breaks, remove the retainer from your mouth and bring all the pieces to our office for professional repair.
  • Sore Teeth or Sore Gums – If your teeth are sore after your appointment, you can take ibuprofen (Motrin/Advil) or acetaminophen (Tylenol), following the manufacturer’s instructions.

Additional Tips

  • Rinsing your mouth with warm water and half a teaspoon of salt can also be soothing. If your teeth get sore suddenly in the middle of the month, give us a call because it is unusual for the teeth to get sore several weeks after your last office visit.
  • If food becomes stuck between your teeth, use dental floss or a proxy brush to dislodge the food. If you cut your gums, tongue, or the inside of your cheek, apply finger pressure to the bleeding site for several minutes. In the extremely unlikely event the bleeding doesn’t stop, call our office immediately.
  • Minor irritations and canker sores will heal much more quickly if you apply Zylactin or Orabase according to the manufacturer’s directions. You can purchase it over the counter at most pharmacies and convenient stores.

If you need immediate help please call or text our office at (973) 251-2265.

© 2021 Sacks Orthodontics
Sacks Orthodontics is located in Livingston, NJ but happily serves Essex, Hudson, Mercer, Middlesex, Monmouth, Somerset, Union, Summit, and the surrounding areas. The contents of sacksortho.com are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License. Copying without permission is strictly forbidden.
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