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Braces Emergencies

What to do when you have an Orthodontic 911!

  • Braces are delicate and must be taken care of in order to prevent damage to them. Always be careful with what you eat and your activities to keep from breaking any of your appliances. Sometimes, however, things happen and something breaks. It is important to know what to do. The following are some of the common problems that occur and what to do about them.
  • If you have a loose band or bracket and it is still attached to the wire, leave it in place. If it is uncomfortable, place wax on it, if it comes out completely, wrap the brace or band in tissue and bring it to your next appointment.
  • If your wire comes loose, try to place the wire back in place with tweezers. If this is not possible, clip the wire with fingernail clippers behind the last tooth to which it is securely fastened. If there is any discomfort, place wax on it.
  • Sometimes a wire tie can get loose and poke the inside of your mouth. If it does, then gently tuck the wire back in place with a blunt object like a pencil eraser or popsicle stick. When you can’t nudge it back, cover the end with a piece of wax until you can get to your orthodontist’s office.
  • If you lose one of the colored rubber bands on your braces, all you need to do is notify your orthodontist at your next visit. Unless it becomes uncomfortable, you do not need to see your orthodontist before your next scheduled appointment.
  • For any soreness after an adjustment or any time while wearing your appliances, take aspirin, Tylenol, or Advil.
  • Sometimes your appliances can cause irritations on your tongue, cheeks, lips, or gums. Rinsing your mouth with salt water can help to heal the irritation and wax can be used to cover the appliance causing the irritation.
  • If your headgear does not fit, it may be because you are not wearing it as your orthodontist prescribed. Follow your orthodontist’s instructions and the discomfort should diminish. If the face bow is bent, call your orthodontist at once.
  • When you lose any appliance or your retainer, call your orthodontist’s office as soon as you can so that treatment will not be delayed for too long.
  • It is important to pay attention to the condition of your appliances and take immediate action when there is a problem. That way your treatment time can be kept to a minimum, and you will be smiling with beautiful teeth as soon as possible.

Paying attention and doing your part will bring great rewards with a sparkling smile. This includes the essentials of brushing and flossing every day, eating a balanced diet, and visiting your dentist regularly.

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