Emergency Care

Good Preventative Care Means Wearing Mouth Guards During Sporting Events

If you do not wear a mouth guard while playing sports and get hit in the mouth, you could have severe damage to your teeth and gums. If your child participates in any kind of sporting event, prevent painful accidents by always insisting they  wear a mouth guard. The AAO (American Association of Orthodontists) shares some helpful tips about what to do in case of a blow to the mouth.  Click here and download the form to your phone and/or desktop for future reference, in case of a mouth injury. You will be glad you did, if you need it.

True orthodontic emergencies are rare, but when they occur we are available to assist you. As a general rule, you should call our office when you experience severe pain or have a painful appliance problem you can’t take care of yourself. We’ll be able to schedule an appointment to resolve the problem. You might be surprised to learn that you may be able to solve many problems yourself temporarily until you can get to our office. If there is a loose piece that you can remove, put it in a plastic bag or envelope and bring it with you to your next appointment. If your braces are poking you, put soft wax on the piece that’s sticking out. If the wire has shifted to one side, you can slide it back to the other side with needle-nosed pliers, replacing it in the tube on the back tooth. After alleviating your discomfort, it is very important that you still call our office to discuss the problem. We will be able to access if we need to see you before your next scheduled appointment.

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When you get your braces on, you may feel general soreness in your mouth, and teeth may be tender to biting pressures for three to five days. Stick to a soft diet until your teeth do not hurt when chewing. Irritated gums and other sore spots can be relieved by rinsing your mouth with a warm salt-water mouthwash. Dissolve one teaspoonful of salt in eight ounces of warm water, and rinse your mouth vigorously. An alternative (better tasting) mouthwash is the Healthy Gums Rinse by The Natural Dentist. Placing Orabase on the affected area may also help relieve discomfort; Orabase can be found in a pharmacy. If the tenderness is severe, take Acetaminophen (Tylenol) or whatever you normally take for headache or similar pain. Aspirin, Ibuprofen (Motrin, Advil) and Naproxen Sodium (Naprosyn, Anaprox) actually slow the tooth movement, so it is not advisable to use them frequently while wearing braces.

The lips, cheeks, and tongue may become irritated for one to two weeks as they learn a new posture and become accustomed to the surface of the braces. You can put wax on the braces to lessen this. We’ll show you how!


Sometimes discomfort is caused by not wearing the headgear as instructed by your orthodontist. Please refer to the instructions provided by your orthodontist. If the facebow (metal piece) is bent, please call our office for assistance. The headgear should hurt less the more it’s worn, so be sure you get in the prescribed number of hours.

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If your appliance is poking you, place wax on the part that is bothering you. Call our office if you have questions about the way your appliance is fitting.



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If your bracket or band is still attached to the wire, you should leave it in place and put wax on it if needed for comfort. If the bracket or band can be removed easily, place it in an envelope and save it to bring to your next appointment.

Loose WireA9R1esrwyy_d794q8_1uk

Using a pair of tweezers or needle-nosed pliers, try to put your wire back into place. It is okay to use a piece of floss to tie the wire into place: tie the floss around the bracket in place of the missing colored o-ring. If you cannot put the wire into a comfortable position, and covering the end with 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 the end of the wire is still sharp place wax on it.

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Using a pencil eraser, push the poking wire down or place wax on it so that it is no longer poking.