What to Do in Case of Emergency
Call our office as soon as possible if you break or loosen any of your appliances. Please do not come directly to the office – by calling us, you will allow us to create a time to see you. Even if you have a regular appointment scheduled, call us immediately to notify us if you need an appliance repaired.
Loose Brackets or Bands
Call our office immediately for advice if a bracket or wire is loosened. The bracket may need to be re-fitted as soon as possible. You may have a situation that requires cutting a wire or sliding a bracket off a wire at night or over the weekend. If you need to cut a wire in case of emergency, you may use fingernail clippers that have been washed and sterilized in alcohol. Please call our office the next business day, so that we may schedule an appointment for you.
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 eraser. 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 nail clippers or scissors that have been washed and sterilized in alcohol. If you cannot resolve the wire irritation, call our office for an appointment.
Most patients lose a separator during their treatment. Do not worry about losing a separator, but call our office to see if it needs to be replaced.
Discomfort with Orthodontic Treatment
During the first week after your braces are in place and routine adjustments are complete, you will likely feel some pain, soreness or discomfort. You may take acetaminophen or other non-aspirin pain relievers while you adjust to your new braces. A warm wash cloth or heating pad may reduce the soreness in your jaws.
Broken appliances are a part of orthodontic treatment. It goes with the territory. Sometimes the patient has received trauma to the mouth or maybe they just decided that it would not hurt to cheat a little on Dr. Martin’s “Do Not Eat” list. The average patient will break one bracket during their course of treatment. Sometimes brackets will come loose while the patient is just sitting around, but this only happens if the brace has already been somewhat loosened at an earlier date but did not fully break free from the tooth.
We understand and do not get upset about it. But, we do want you to know that broken brackets will result in a delay in treatment. We also want you to know that any appointment that involves the placement of braces must be done during school hours. This is a long appointment which cannot be done after school because everyone wants to be seen at this time.
Also, we let the patients know that the first 3 broken braces are on us. After that, there will be a $25 charge for each additional broken bracket. We will try to let them know each time a bracket or band is broken and how many more freebies they have before THEY have to pay for the appointment. It is amazing how quickly the breakage stops once they start paying for it. Broken brackets are also the number one reason we fall behind in our schedule so please call ahead to let us know if one of your brackets is broken so we can work the repair into our schedule.