First Aid for Braces

Real orthodontic emergencies are seldom, but when those irritating mishaps with your hardware do occur, we are available to you at one of our nearby locations. You are encouraged to call our office if you are experiencing any prolongued discomfort or should you have an appliance problem that you or a parent are unable to take care of. In these events, we’ll schedule an appointment at our earliest availability to help resolve the problem and put you more at ease. It is helpful to know that you may be able to temporarily solve or diminish the effects of many problems yourself with a little “coaching”. We’ll be happy to help!

Outside of every Hiller Orthodontics office, we offer a first aid kit that provides a variety of supplies for our patients including Orabase Topical Anesthetic, Elastics, Elastic Hooks and Wax.

When working with your orthodontic appliances, you should know the proper names of the parts so that you can properly identify and communicate what part is broken or out of place. After alleviating any immediate discomfort, it is very important that you still call our office to schedule a time to repair the problem professionally. Allowing your appliance to remain damaged or out of place for an extended period of time may result in disruptions in your treatment plan.

Prevent Accidents But Know What To Do If One OccursAmerican Association of Orthodontics

Handling Orthodontic EmergenciesAmerican Association of Orthodontics

Initial Soreness

After the initial placement of braces or following an adjustment, the teeth may be tender for a couple of days. This occasionally happens and will pass. An over the counter pain reliever such as Advil or Tylenol may be helpful in alleviating this initial soreness. Rinsing your mouth with a teaspoon of salt dissolved in a glass of warm water also can be soothing.

Lost Spacer

If a rubber spacer falls out, take two pieces of dental floss and insert them through the spacer. Then pull on both pieces of floss to stretch the spacer back and forth between the two teeth where it belongs. When the bottom half of the spacer slips under the tight spot between the teeth, release and remove the floss. The spacer should now be back in place.

Wire Poking

It is possible for the wire to protrude from the back brace. This problem can be solved by taking a nail clipper and snipping the wire as close as possible to the brace. If you cannot clip the wire, placing some wax on it will help to keep you comfortable.

Wire out of a Brace

If the main wire has come out of the tube on the back molar tooth, you may attempt to reinsert the wire with a pair of needle-nosed pliers or tweezers. If you are having a difficult time and the wire is not sticking you, place a piece of wax over the area. 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.

Broken Brace

If a bracket (the small rectangular brace) is loose, it usually will remain connected to the main wire by a little rubber ring that is often colored. You may use a pair of tweezers to reposition the brace if it flips around the wire and becomes a source of irritation. Please let our office know you have a loose brace, so we can be prepared at your next visit to repair the brace. If you have an appliance that happens to come off, please do not discard it! Bring it with you to your next appointment so that we can repair or replace it.

Broken Wire

If the main wire breaks, take a pair of nail clippers and cut the wire as close as possible to the next brace it is attached to. You may also need to place wax over the cut end of the wire. Please call our office so we can schedule an appointment to repair the wire.

Tie has come off of a Brace

If the “O-tie” has come loose, see if the wire is attached to the brace with a small wire thread or ligature. If so, it should be fine until the next appointment. If there is no ligature on the tooth, please call our office to schedule an appointment to place a new “O-tie” on the brace.

Expander is Loose

If an expander becomes loose we do not want you to activate it until you are seen. Usually the expander can be pushed back onto the tooth until you can get back into our office. Sticky foods are usually the cause of this.

Lost or Broken Retainer

If you lose or break a removable appliance or retainer, please call our office during office hours or leave a message. We will schedule an appointment for you to make a new one.

If you or your child is uncomfortable and you cannot correct the problem yourself, please call our office at 1-888-445-5372 and we will try and assist you over the phone. If you call after hours or over the weekend, please leave a message so that we may return your call the next business day.

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