What to do in case of emergency
Call our office as soon as possible if you break or loosen any part of your appliances. Please do not come directly to the office – by calling us, you will allow us to ascertain the nature of the problem and reserve adequate time to see you. Even if you have a regular appointment scheduled, call us immediately to notify us if you need an appliance repaired. If you are in serious pain due to a component of your braces and the office is closed, please follow the prompts on the office telephone system to contact Dr. Hawkins for after-hours help.
Loose brackets, bands or wires
If a bracket, band or wire is loose, off or broken please call our office the next business day, so that we may schedule a repair appointment for you or leave a message on our voicemail if it is over the weekend. These brace components should be re-fitted in a timely fashion, usually within a week. You may have a situation that requires cutting a wire over the weekend. If you need to cut a wire in an emergency, you can use clean fingernail clippers. If any part of your appliance comes out of the mouth, please save it in a baggie, small envelope or a retainer case and bring it with you to your next visit. This will likely save us time at the repair appointment.
Sometimes discomfort caused by a wire on your braces can be resolved by moving the wire away from the irritated area with a cotton swab or better yet, a clean pencil eraser. An effective fix for many pokey wires in the back of the mouth is to grab the archwire with a tweezer between the front two teeth and to slide the wire in the direction opposite the soreness. The bump in the middle of the archwire should line up with the middle of the front two teeth. If the wire will not move, try covering the end of it with a small piece of cotton or a small amount of wax. If the wire is painful, you can cut it with clean nail clippers. If you cannot resolve the wire irritation, call our office for an appointment.
Separators open spaces between back teeth in preparation for placing orthodontic bands on them. To prevent separator loss, avoid flossing in the separator area as well as sticky foods. If you should lose one, please call our office to see if it needs to be replaced. The general rule is that separator loss within 36 hours of your next appointment will not warrant separator replacement.
Discomfort with orthodontic treatment
During the first one to two weeks after your braces are first placed and for two to five days after routine adjustments, you will likely feel some discomfort, particularly when chewing harder foods. You may take acetaminophen, naproxen or ibuprofen (take aspirin only if you are an adult) as pain relievers while you are experiencing brace-related discomfort. A warm wash cloth or heating pad may reduce the soreness in your jaws but the most effective remedy is simply the passage of time and a soft diet.
Lost brace color ties/colored power chains
This is a non-emergency. Please call the office at your convenience to have the color tie or power chain replaced.