First, we take care to ensure that your braces are placed according to best practices, and we schedule follow-up exams that can help catch potential problems early.
Second, we spend time with each patient making sure that they understand how to properly care for their braces. Avoiding sticky foods, maintaining your oral hygiene routine and using the appropriate mouth guard when playing sports can all go a long way toward protecting your braces and teeth.
While the majority of patients never have a problem with their braces, it is important to be prepared for the possibility that a wire could come loose or something may break. We know that a problem with your braces could be uncomfortable or interfere with your progress toward a beautiful smile. For this reason, we recommend that you call us immediately at: 618-438-2815, even if you know that it is not time for your regular appointment. If you notice an issue with your braces on the day of an appointment, please give us a call anyway. This can help us to make sure that we have the appropriate equipment and time allotted to treat your emergency right away.
If you call on the weekend, our answering machine will provide you with an emergency number that will connect you to one of our patient managers who can provide assistance. Keep in mind that we define a weekend emergency as any event that causes pain or discomfort that cannot be immediately relieved with basic at-home care such as orthodontic wax or over-the-counter pain medication.
While we can treat any issue that affects your orthodontic treatment, we do recommend contacting your dentist for any serious injuries to your mouth and teeth.
Here are a few of the most common problems we see in our patients along with some solutions that may provide relief until your appointment.
Arch Wire Poking
The arch wire can sometimes poke the soft tissues of your mouth and cause irritation. Place a small amount of orthodontic wax over the part of the wire that is protruding. In the event that the wire has become bent at the end, you can try using tweezers or a pencil eraser to adjust it.
It is important for you band to be tight so that decay can be prevented. For this type of problem, call your orthodontist right away so that it can be corrected.
Bracket Has Come Off
If a bracket comes off, do not try to remove it from the wire. Leave everything in place, and call to schedule an appointment. Be sure to leave a message if no one answers so that we can prioritize your appointment.
Door Has Come Open
Look in a mirror and use tweezers to close the door starting from the bottom to the top. If you struggle with getting it closed, place wax over it and call for an emergency appointment.
It is common to experience some mild soreness for the first three to five days after getting your braces placed. Many of our patients find that a warm saltwater rinse made from 1/8 of a teaspoon mixed with 8 ounces of water can be helpful. Orabase and over-the-counter pain medications can also provide relief.
Our orthodontists are always ready to show you how to care for minor emergencies that may occur with your braces. If you have any questions about you or your child’s treatment, we encourage you visit our office location pages for Benton, Harrisburg or Herrin or call us for assistance today.