There are very few true orthodontic emergencies. Most problems can be remedied at home. However, if you have a situation that you cannot resolve on your own, call us at Pierson & Saunders Orthodontics as soon as possible so our experienced orthodontists, Dr. Bradley Pierson and Dr. Kristin Saunders, can fit you in for a repair appointment and provide the emergency care in San Antonio, Texas, that you need to maintain a healthy smile.
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 the wire cannot be tucked 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 not 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 bracket.
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. Tweezers can be used to reposition the bracket 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.
If a rubber spacer or separator falls out, call our office so we can arrange to replace it. If it happens a day before your appointment to put on braces or bands, it may not need to be replaced.
If You Swallow Something
Remain calm if you swallow a piece of your appliance. It will usually go into the stomach and pass later. However, if you experience difficulty breathing, you should seek immediate medical attention. X-rays will be taken to determine the location of the swallowed piece.
If a 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
Take ibuprofen (Motrin/Advil) or acetaminophen (Tylenol) if your teeth are sore after your appointment. Please consult your physician before taking any medication, particularly if you have any history of allergic reactions.
Rinsing your mouth with a cup of warm water and half a teaspoon of salt can also be soothing. If your teeth get sore suddenly in the middle between treatment visits, give us a call. It is unusual for 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. If the bleeding doesn’t stop, call our office or your family dentist.
Minor irritations and canker sores are common during the first few weeks in braces as the lips and cheeks get used to the new hardware. It will heal much more quickly if you place wax at the source of irritation. You can also apply Zylactin or Orabase according to the manufacturer’s directions. You can purchase these products over the counter at most pharmacies and convenience stores.