If you are in severe pain, bleeding that cannot be stopped, or have a infectious swelling, those are true emergencies that need to be addressed right away and it is recommended to call the after-hours call number to reach Dr. Marks. In the event of an emergency and you cannot get ahold of Dr. Marks, do not hesitate to call 911 or visit the emergency room.
True dental emergencies are rare in orthodontics. Most orthodontic emergencies are things that can be addressed at home to make the patient comfortable and ultimately handled the next day the office is open. Below are common examples and how to address them:
Wire or Lig tie poking / Long wire: Try to push in toward the tooth with a pencil eraser if possible. If not, you can clip the excess wire with fingernail clippers and place wax on the end to make sure it isn’t rough feeling on the cheek. If you cannot push it in or cut it, add a significant amount of wax to shield and protect your cheek.
Separator fell out: Wait until the next business day and call the office to set up a time to have it replaced.
Missing colored Otie: Place wax on the bracket to hold wire in place and contact the office the next business day.
Loose bracket: If able, keep the bracket in place on the wire (it may slide back and forth) and call us the next business day. If the bracket comes off the wire, try to keep it in a baggy and bring it in to your next appointment. Always call the office the next business day to tell us when a bracket has come loose.
Forsus spring and rod come unattached: Sometimes this happens when yawning or opening the mouth really wide. To reattach, just compress the spring up toward the upper tooth, open very wide, and guide the lower metal rod into the center of the spring again, then bite down.
Broken or lost retainers: If it is salvageable continue to wear it until you can contact us the next business day and get an appointment for a new set. It is important to not delay too long to have the teeth move.
Soreness from braces
Generally about 4 hours after each reactivation you may feel pressure and it will likely last about 3-5 days. This is usually handled with over the counter headache medicine like Tylenol or Motrin. Any gum discomfort can be relieved by rinsing with 1 teaspoon of salt in 8 ounces of warm water. The cheeks, lips and tongue may become irritated for the first couple weeks as you get used to your appliances. During this time placing a small ball of wax on those areas will help.