Emergency Care

Occasionally, patients will have some sort of orthodontic emergency that needs immediate attention, although these instances are rare. If you develop a painful problem with one of your appliances, contact our office as soon as possible to schedule an appointment. You can reach our answering service after regular business hours and we can give you guidance as to how to address the issue until you can be seen by the orthodontist.

Many patients do not realize that there are steps that they can take on their own to stabilize the problem until you are able to schedule an appointment. Here are a few scenarios that you may encounter and suggestions of actions to take.

  • Dislodged wire – If a wire has gotten free and is poking the soft tissues, causing you discomfort, you can use a pencil eraser to push it down or cover the end with wax to eliminate the friction temporarily. Wax can generally be used for any part of the appliance that is causing irritation.
  • Loose bracket or band – If the bracket comes loose but is still attached to the wire, put some wax on it. A bracket that has broken free of the wire should be wrapped in a tissue until you can get to the orthodontist.
  • Loose wire – You can attempt to guide the wire back into place using tweezers. If this fails, you can use fingernail clippers to cut the wire behind the last secure tooth attachment, but keep in mind that this should be a last resort.
  • Poor-fitting headgear – Double check that you are wearing the headgear as instructed, and be sure to wear the headgear for the recommended number of hours. Interestingly, the headgear can be more comfortable if you wear it more. In cases of a bent facebow, call our office for assistance.
  • General soreness – Some soreness is expected after you first get your braces. You can treat this problem by rinsing out your mouth or using an over-the-counter painkiller for more severe pain. Also, your soft tissues have to adjust to the appliances, and it can take a week or two before you’ll notice a decrease in sensitivity. You can again use wax for more comfort at this time.

When you get your appliances, it’s a good opportunity to review “in case of emergency” instructions and recommendations with the orthodontist. You may even want to keep a written list of these suggestions with you for a quick reference.

Laredo Orthodontics

  • Laredo Orthodontics - 802 E. Calton Rd., Laredo, TX 78041 Phone: (956) 724-8391

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