True orthodontic emergencies are rare, however, if you do have an emergency, please remember that the team at Gippsland Orthodontics are here for you. As a general rule, you should call our office when you experience severe pain or have a painful appliance problem you can't take care of yourself. We'll be able to schedule an appointment to resolve the problem.

You might be surprised to learn that you may be able to solve many problems yourself temporarily until you can get to our clinic. Please understand that most emergencies will be seen during office or school hours. Which means it’s important to ask yourself whether the issue is minor of requires immediate attention.

What emergencies may arise during orthodontic treatment?

General Soreness

When you get your braces on, you may feel general soreness in your mouth. Teeth may also be tender to biting pressures for three to five days. Stick to a soft diet until your teeth do not hurt to chew. If the tenderness is severe, take Paracetamol or a similar analgesic taken for headaches or a comparable pain. Aspirin and Ibuprofen (Nurofen) actually slow the tooth movement, so it is not advisable to use them frequently while wearing braces.

Irritated gums and other sore spots can be relieved by rinsing your mouth with a warm salt-water mouthwash. Dissolve one teaspoonful of salt in a quarter of a cup warm water and rinse your mouth vigorously.

The lips, cheeks, and tongue may become irritated for one to two weeks as they learn a new posture and become accustomed to the surface of the braces. You can put wax on the braces to lessen this.

Lastly, some orthodontic wires become softer and reduce the pressure on teeth with cold foods and drinks. It may be advised to drink cold water, sugar-free cold drinks and cold foods low in sugar to help reduce the pain.

Loose Brace or Band

Braces are usually attached to the centre of each tooth using a special adhesive. Usual causes of brackets becoming knocked off involve eating foods you are not meant to or by suffering an impact to the mouth. If your brace or band is still attached to the wire, you should leave it in place and put wax on it if needed for comfort. If the bracket or band can be removed easily, place it in an envelope and save it to bring to your next appointment.

Loose Wire

Using a pair of tweezers try to put your wire back into place. It is okay to use a piece of floss to tie the wire into place; tie the floss around the bracket in place of the missing coloured module. If you cannot put the wire into a comfortable position and covering the end with wax doesn't resolve the concern, use a clean small fingernail clipper to clip the wire behind the last tooth to which it is securely fastened. Place wax on the end of the wire if it is still sharp.

Poking Wire

Sometimes the end of a wire can work itself out of place, cause irritation and discomfort. If this happens, and you cannot carefully push the wire safely against the tooth with a pencil eraser, then use relief wax to cover the wire.

Food caught between teeth

This is not an emergency and should be handled by carefully flossing with a toothpick, dental floss or water pick.

Anything else?

After alleviating your discomfort, it is very important that you call our office as soon as possible to schedule a time to repair the problem. Allowing your appliance to remain damaged for an extended period of time may result in disruptions to your treatment plan and extended treatment times. If any of these issues occur to you, with the exception of trapped food, you should contact our office and arrange an appointment, by clicking here. However, if the issue is serious and requires immediate attention, visit an emergency care clinic and contact Gippsland Orthodontics immediately.