Orthodontic Emergencies

Orthodontic Emergencies

Problems with orthodontic appliances are rarely true emergencies. Most common problems can be addressed at home with the care advice below.

During office hours patients who are experiencing problems can contact receptionist on 01865 370375. We can advise if an unscheduled appointment should be made. We recommend all our patients adhere to the diet advice we give so as to minimize the risk of problems and need for unscheduled appointments. Below are some problems patients may experience with suggestions on management.

Discomfort/Pain

It is common to experience some discomfort for a few days after appliances have been fitted. Anti- inflammatory medication that you would normally take for headache or pain tend to be very effective. Adherence to a soft diet initially is also recommended. Recent research also shows that chewing a sugar free gum can help to provide pain relief.

Mouth Ulcers

Irritation from an appliance can cause or exacerbate existing ulcers. Application of non- medicated relief wax on the area of the appliance causing irritation together with use of an antiseptic mouthwash has been found to be helpful.

Swollen/Bleeding Gums

This is usually caused by poor oral hygiene. Follow the oral hygiene instructions you have been given and brush teeth well using inter-dental brush in areas difficult to access.

Protruding Arch Wire

Cover the protruding wire with relief wax provided and contact the practice if this does not help.

Loose Brackets

Occasionally a bracket will come detached from a tooth but remains attached to the wire. If the bracket is not causing discomfort, it can be addressed at the next scheduled visit. If it is causing discomfort you can remove it at home in one of two ways:

  • Use nail scissors to cut through the coloured elastic band that hold the broken bracket to the wire, then rotate the bracket off the wire and throw it away
  • Alternatively, use a tweezers to hold the elastic band and gently remove band from bracket. Then rotate the broken bracket off the wire and dispose of bracket

Broken/Lost Removable Appliance/Retainers

Contact the Practice to arrange an unscheduled appointment as soon as possible.

Loose or Broken Wires/Bands/Springs

If the broken component is not loose then cover with relief wax and schedule an appointment for a review. If the component is loose then carefully remove with tweezers and schedule a review.

Allergic/Hypersensitive Reaction

The majority of patients who are sensitive to nickel can still wear stainless steel braces which contain small amounts of nickel. In rare instances there can be an allergic reaction with symptoms of burning sensation, metallic taste, swelling and soreness of the tongue. In these cases contact the Practice immediately so arrangements can be made to remove the nickel components.

Broken Bonded Retainer

If you have a bonded retainer, you will also have had a removable retainer supplied. We would always advise on wearing this on an occasional basis.  If your bonded retainer breaks, start wearing the removable retainer every day and contact the practice for advice.

For further information contact us on 01865 370375.

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