Orthodontic emergencies are rare, but they can and do happen. Certain instances will require an office appointment while others are not as critical and can occasionally be handled at home. The important thing to remember is that if you are ever in pain, discomfort or have questions, please feel free to call our office to discuss your problem. If no one is in the office, the message can direct you to have someone paged and your call will be returned very soon.
If you are wearing braces, it is only a matter of time until something pokes, sticks, bruises or cuts you. Orabase, by Colgate, provides fast, temporary relief from pain associated with oral irritations. Place a small amount of Orabase paste or gel on the irritation with a Q-tip or clean finger. The Benzocaine in Orabase numbs the irritated area and provides a protective barrier, which promotes healing.
Some patients find the numbing effect of Orabase discomforting and the gel or paste formulations messy to work with. Rincinol, by G-U-M, is a good substitute for pain relief and mouth sore pain. Rincinoltm gently forms a micro-thin, invisible, bioadhesive protective barrier over sores which promotes healing and prevents air, liquid, and food from irritating the sensitive nerve endings. This soothing oral bandage provides up to six hours of pain relief.
Orthodontic Emergency: Broken Brackets
A general soreness in the mouth the first week of braces or for a few days following on your regular adjustment appointments is not uncommon. Rinsing with a warm salt-water solution can relieve this. Dissolve one teaspoonful of salt in 8 ounces of warm water, and rinse vigorously. You may also take Tylenol, Advil or their generic equivalents - or whatever you take for headaches or similar pain. (Unless you are allergic). This soreness should end by the third or fourth day. Students wishing to take the medication to school should be aware of the following: New York State Law requires a written request from the orthodontist in which he/she indicates the frequency and dosage of a prescribed medication and a written request from the parent to administer the medication. The medication should be delivered to the school nurse in its original container. All students receive completed Advil forms and Tylenol forms when they start treatment with Dr. Gorin. Don’t hesitate to contact our office if you need additional forms for the school nurse.
If a wire causes irritation, push the wire away from the area using the eraser end of a pencil, the back of a teaspoon or a Q-tip. If the wire cannot be tucked away, cover the end of the wire with a small piece of wax, a cotton ball, or a piece of sugarless gum, until you can see Dr. Gorin for an adjustment. Call us to schedule an appointment to “fix” the problem.
Orthodontic Emergency: Poking Wire
If the main wire has come out of the tube on your back molar tooth, attempt to gently reinsert the wire with a pair of needle nosed pliers or tweezers. If the wire is resistant, place a piece of wax over the area, sticking the wire to the side of the brace. DO NOT try to pull loose wires out from the braces - you will only bend the wire further out of shape or damage the braces. Better to leave them loose in the mouth and wax the wire to the side of the braces. If the wire is sticking you and wax does not help, the wire can be cut with a small wire cutter or toenail clipper close to the back of the last brace. This is a last resort if professional help is unavailable.
If a bracket becomes loose, it usually remains connected to the main wire by a little rubber colored ring. Eyebrow tweezers can be used to reposition the brace if it flips around the wire and becomes a source of irritation. Call our office and inform us of your situation.
If a piece of your braces breaks, save the piece and call our office to schedule a repair visit.
If you teeth get sore suddenly in the middle of the month, give us a call because it is unusual for the teeth to get sore several weeks after your last office visit.