There are very few true life-threatening "emergencies" in orthodontics, but there can be some annoyances along the way.
Refer to the back side of the "Flossing and Brushing with Braces" laminated mirror-hanging card given to you when the braces were placed.
Use of wax – many problems can be soothed by placing a 3-4 mm wax strip over the braces to smooth the area of the braces that feels rough.
Warm salt water swish – mouth irritants are soothed by rinsing with warm tap water (8 oz) mixed with salt (1 teaspoon) 3-4 times a day.
Loose bracket – call and let us know – usually we will plan to fix it at your regularly scheduled appointment. It may slide or flip around on the wire since it will still be held onto the wire with the o-ring.
Loose band – the ring around the tooth moves up and down. This situation should be addressed within a few days. Otherwise food and plaque can get under the band and cause soreness, damage to the tooth, and swelling of the gum. Call the office and we will get you in to re-cement the band. If the band comes all the way off, bring it in with you. Hopefully we can get it back on, but sometimes the space will close up and we need spacers again.
Wire poking – use wax; if it is severe call the office and we will get you in to clip it.
Lost o-ring – not a problem, it will be replaced at your next appointment.
Wire out of tube on the back molar – try to carefully fish it back into the tube with a tweezers. If you cannot get it back in, call the office to come in and we will get it back into place.
Mouth sore – use wax if the braces touch it, rinse with warm salt water, use a numbing gel such as Orabase. Mouth sores heal on their own in 7-10 days.
Achy teeth – use over the counter pain relievers, eat softer foods.
General tips – keep your teeth as clean as possible for fewer problems, don't eat hard and sticky foods that might break your braces, keep regular appointments so progress is always being made, wear your retainers after treatment to keep your smile great!
If in doubt – call the office (314-721-5551) to get advice.