For orthodontic emergencies (broken or loose bracket/band, poking or detached wire), please make an emergency appointment with our staff during business hours or leave a message at (714) 962-8880. For medical emergencies (such as facial injury), please call 911.
True orthodontic emergencies are very rare, but when they do occur we are available to you. As a general rule, you should call the office when you experience severe pain or when you have a painful appliance problem that you can't take care of yourself. We’ll be able to schedule an appointment to resolve the problem.
You may be surprised that using wax or household items you can provide temporary relief until you're able to schedule an appointment with our office. When working with your appliances, you need to know the names of their parts so you are able to identify what exactly is broken or out of place (see braces diagram).
After alleviating your discomfort, it is very important that you still call our office as soon as possible and schedule a time to repair the problem. Allowing your appliance to remain damaged for an extended period of time may result in disruptions in your treatment plan.
Using a pencil eraser, push the poking wire down or place wax on it to alleviate the discomfort.
Loose Bracket or Band?
If your bracket or band is still attached to the wire, you should leave it in place and put wax on it. If the bracket or band comes out entirely, save it in a Ziplock bag and bring it to your emergency appointment.
Using tweezers, try to place your wire back into place. If doing this and using wax does not 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.
If your appliance is poking you, place wax on the offending part of your appliance.
Headgear Doesn't Fit?
Sometimes headgear 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 is bent, please call our office for assistance. Surprisingly, the headgear may hurt less if it’s worn more, so be sure you’re getting in the prescribed hours.
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. This can be relieved by rinsing your mouth with a warm saltwater mouthwash. Dissolve one teaspoonful of salt in eight ounces of warm water, and rinse your mouth vigorously.
Placing Orabase on the affected area may help; this can be found in your local pharmacy. If the tenderness is severe, take aspirin or whatever you normally take for headache or similar pain.
The 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!