What to do when an orthodontic emergency occurs
Call our office as soon as the orthodontic emergency occurs. By calling our office and reserving an appointment, it allows us the proper time and preparation to appropriately handle each unique emergency. If you are dealing with an orthodontic issue (i.e. broken bracket) and already have a routine appointment scheduled, please notify us as soon as possible as we may need to allocate more time to remedy to the problem. If an orthodontic emergency occurs after business hours, please call our office phone to retrieve Dr. Helms cell phone number.
Loose Bands or Brackets
If you are experiencing a loose band or bracket, please call our office as soon as possible to determine the best way to proceed. Most of the time a loose bracket will not cause any harm short term, however it will most likely need to be replaced as soon as possible. If this occurs outside of patient hours, please call the office on the next business day to schedule an appointment. Occasionally, the offending band or bracket can be slid off the wire or repositioned temporarily to remedy any discomfort.
Sometimes the small ties that hold the wire in place can come untucked from behind the bracket. If the main archwire is poking, try placing some wax at the end of it to relieve the discomfort. If the wire is abnormally long and causing pain, the wire can be clipped with a pair of nail clippers that have been sterilized with rubbing alcohol. If you cannot correct the poking wire with the previous methods, please contact our office to schedule an appointment.
After a patient has their braces placed or adjusted, a week of discomfort/soreness is to be expected. Acetaminophen or other non-aspirin pain relievers will help with this discomfort. If the patient is not able to sleep through the night due to discomfort, please call our office to discuss with Dr. Helms.
Separator Care and Replacement
Separators create space between your teeth in order for bands to be placed. If one falls out, please replace it with the extras provided. If you are unable to place it, please call our office and we will get you in to replace it.
Please follow these instructions while they are in place:
1. Check the separators every day to make sure they are all still in place. Total separators: __________
2. Do not floss in between the teeth with separators as this can accidentally remove them.
3. Continue to brush your teeth as normal.
4. Do not eat anything that is sticky/chewy/hard such as gum caramel, taffy, hard candy/suckers, nuts, ice, etc. These foods can either pull out or break your separator.
5. You may have some discomfort for 2 to 3 days as the teeth begin to move. Common pain relievers such as Tylenol or Advil will help.
6. If a separator breaks or falls out, please replace it as soon as possible. It is common for a separator to fall out as space is created and the gap/space between the teeth is large enough to fit the band. If you replace the separator and it keeps falling out, then wait a day and replace it. The teeth will naturally move back to try to close the space back up, so you do not want to leave the separator out indefinitely. It can make it very difficult and uncomfortable to try to fit the bands in between the teeth if there is not enough room.