Orthodontic Emergency? We’ve Got You CoveredDr. Rothstein on responding to orthodontic emergencies Read Transcript
We actually have an iPhone that's a dedicated emergency phone. It's so if our office is closed, our voicemail will have that number on it so you'll be able to reach us. But orthodontics, typically, doesn't have the same types of emergencies as surgery or something like that, so usually it is a broken bracket or a wire poking or something like that. And a lot of times, we can actually guide people through that over the phone on how to take care of those things but if they need us, we're here. That's the name of the game.
Every single team member in our office has an emergency kit at home and it's got the ... or in our cars or at home, which has the gloves, the pliers, different things that we'll need to take care of anything. So I've met patients in parking lots, at Dunkin' Donuts, so they'll call and say,“Hey, where do you live?““Where do you live?“ And then we'll kind of meet in the middle somewhere.
So not everything has to be run to the office or wait. And so, while sometimes things can wait until the next day, sometimes they just can't. And so, it depends on what it is but one of the cool things that we can do, because it's an iPhone, is a lot of times, patients will FaceTime us or they'll send us a picture and say, “Hey, does this look good?“ Or,“I've got this little kind of bump here. What do you think?“ And we just let them know right off the bat there. Most emergencies really can be handled over the phone and then, if we need to come in and take care of something, we do it.
True orthodontic emergencies are rare, but when they occur, you can find help right here! As a general rule, you should call us when you experience severe pain or have a painful appliance problem that you can’t take care of yourself. We’ll be able to schedule an appointment to resolve the issue.
You may be able to temporarily solve many problems yourself until you schedule an appointment with our Boca Raton, FL or Coral Springs, FL orthodontists. When working with your appliances, you need to know the names of the parts of your appliances so you can identify which part is broken or out of place. After alleviating your discomfort, it is 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 disrupt your treatment plan.
We’ve offered tips on dealing with some common orthodontic emergencies here. If you have any questions or need to make an appointment, call Smiles by Dr. W and Dr. R at (561) 327-6775.
Ways To Relieve General Soreness
When you get your braces, you may feel general soreness in your mouth, and your teeth may be tender to biting pressures for three to five days. You can relieve this by rinsing your mouth with a warm saltwater mouthwash. Dissolve one teaspoon of salt in 8 ounces of warm water, and rinse your mouth vigorously. Placing Orabase® on the affected area may help; you can find it in a pharmacy. For severe tenderness, take aspirin or whatever you normally take for headaches or similar pain.
Your lips, cheeks, and tongue may also become irritated for one to two weeks as they toughen and become accustomed to the surface of the braces. You can put wax on the braces to lessen this. We’ll show you how!
Here’s How to Handle Common Orthodontic Emergencies
Here’s our advice for handling some of the most common orthodontic emergencies:
- Headgear discomfort. Discomfort is sometimes caused by not wearing the headgear as instructed by your orthodontist. Please refer to the instructions we provide. If the facebow is bent, please call our office for assistance. Your headgear may hurt less as it’s worn more, so be sure you’re getting in the prescribed hours.
- Loose appliance. If your loose appliance is poking you, place wax on the offending part of your appliance.
- Loose bracket. If your bracket or band is still attached to the wire, you should leave it in place and put wax on it. If the wire comes out entirely, wrap the bracket with a tissue.
- Loose wire. Using tweezers, try to put your wire back into place. If doing this and using wax doesn’t help, as a last resort use a small fingernail clipper to clip the wire behind the last tooth to which it is securely fastened. If your discomfort continues, place wax on it.
- Poking wire. Using a pencil eraser, push the poking wire down. Or place wax on it to alleviate the discomfort.