Orthodontic emergencies are rare, but if your orthodontic appliances (braces, Invisalign aligners, retainers, etc) are causing you pain, please call our office immediately and we will arrange to have you seen as quickly as we can.
We offer emergency appointments every day. However there are some orthodontic emergencies that can be handled or managed at home and save you a trip to the office.
Note: If you need additional elastics between appointments, these can be picked up in the office at any time Monday through Saturday between 9am and 6pm.
If Your Teeth Are Hurting After a Braces or Invisalign appointment:
Braces and Invisalign are designed to put pressure on your teeth and gently move them into a better and healthier position. After your orthodontic appointment, you may experience a dull ache in your teeth and jaw as your body adjusts to the pressure from the orthodontic appliances. We recommend taking Ibuprofen (Advil), Acetaminophen (Tylenol), or other over-the-counter equivalents in accordance with the dosing instructions on the bottle. Do not use a pain medication that you think you may be allergic to. Normally, the soreness will gradually dissipate over a few days.
As your teeth move, your orthodontic wires can move and cause a “pokey wire” in the back of your mouth. Cover the tip of the wire with wax until the soreness goes away. If wax doesn’t stop the irritation, the wire should be clipped either in the office or at home. To clip the wire at home, sterilize a nail clipper by boiling it hot water or by soaking it in alcohol and trim the wire close to end of the last bracket. Always make sure your cheek is safe and will not get caught in the nail clipper. If you would prefer to have our Assistants perform this procedure, please call the office and schedule an appointment.
If your Invisalign aligners are irritating your gum tissue or inner cheeks you may use a nail file to smooth off the edge. Be careful not to cut into the aligner. Changing the shape or integrity of aligner may affect its ability to move your teeth.
Broken Invisalign Attachments or Lost Aligners
Please contact our office to schedule an orthodontic repair appointment. Do not throw away any used aligners.
If You Have Lost a Separator (blue ring between the teeth) or Blue Build-Up
It is not uncommon in the early phase of treatment to lose a separator. Please contact us to find out if we need to replace it or if it can wait until your next schedule visit. We use blue build-ups to prop open the bite during treatment. Sometimes this material may have difficulty sticking to teeth with fillings, sealants, crowns or implants. If your blue buildups come out, contact the office.
It is not normal to break brackets during orthodontic treatment, however brackets will break if you eat hard or sticky foods. If you do break a bracket please contact our office. Excessive broken brackets slow down orthodontic treatment significantly.
Try to put the wire back in place with sterilized tweezers. If you cannot replace the wire, you may cut the wire with sterilized nail clippers or scissors. Cut immediately behind the last bracket to which the wire is secured. Contact our office to schedule an appointment.
Problems turning the RPE (Rapid Palatal Expander)
Contact our office if you are unable to make the required adjustments to your RPE. We will talk you through how to turn the RPE or schedule an appointment to do this is the office.
Broken or Lost Retainers (Fixed or Removable)
Retention is critical to maintaining a healthy occlusion. Without retainers, teeth will want to move back to their pre-orthodontic treatment position. If you lose your removable retainer or break your fixed retainer contact our office immediately for replacement. Once teeth move, the only way to move them back is another round of braces or Invisalign.
For more information on what to do in case of an orthodontic emergency, please click here.