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In an effort to save you time, office visits, and discomfort, we have put together useful information in the event of an orthodontic emergency along with some tips on what you can do to relieve them at home.  The great news is that almost all pain issues can be temporarily resolved using wax.  If you have run out of wax, it can be purchased at any drugstore. 


Many patients feel discomfort during the first week or two after the braces are placed. To cope with soreness, take the non-aspirin pain reliever that you prefer for a headache, such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen. It is also normal for teeth to become slightly loosened during orthodontic treatment — that shows they're moving!


Discomfort caused by wires can often be resolved by simply moving the wire away from your cheek using a Q-Tip or pencil eraser.  You can also use wax to cover any irritating areas.  If the wire is painful and won't move, you can cut it using clean nail clippers or cuticle cutters that have been sterilized with rubbing alcohol. If the problem still persists, contact our office and we will schedule an appointment to clip the wire for you.


Brackets can become loose or broken due to eating hard or sticky foods as well as playing with your braces. This is not an emergency, and if you are not experiencing discomfort or pain, you do not need to come in to the office outside of your scheduled appointment. Simply leave a loose or broken bracket in place and cover with wax for comfort if needed. If the bracket comes out completely, please bring it with you to your next regular appointment. 


If the main wire has come out of the tube on the back tooth, attempt to reinsert the wire with a pair of sterilized needle-nose pliers or tweezers. If the wire is sticking you, place a piece of wax over the area. As a last resort, the wire can be cut with sterilized small wire cutters or fingernail clippers close to the back of the last bracket that the wire is attached.   


We sometimes use steel ligatures to hold the wire into a bracket. Occasionally, eating hard food may dislodge the ends of the steel ligature and irritate lips and cheeks. To fix this problem, you can use the end of a pencil eraser to push the end of the steel tie into a more comfortable position. You may also use wax to cover the ends to keep the wire from irritating your cheeks.


If you notice that one of your elastic ties from around the bracket is missing, do not be alarmed as this is not an emergency. Keep your regular scheduled appointment and we will replace the ties when you come in.


If you lose a separator or spacer at some point during your orthodontic treatment, don't worry and just call our office during normal business hours for further instructions. 

If you are unable to resolve an issue at home, please call our office at 817-294-9200 for assistance.

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