Occasionally, some patients will experience potential complications during treatment.

Issues Related to Orthodontic Appliances

Appliances might become broken or bent during your orthodontic care, such as loose bands, loose brackets, or broken or poking wires. For your convenience and the convenience of scheduled patients, it is not possible to handle complications on a walk-in basis.  Call our office for an appointment during patient hours.

In the meantime… here are some helpful hints ↓

  • If a wire is irritating your mouth, cover it with beeswax or tuck it under the archwire with the end of a pencil eraser, or cut with nail clippers.

  • A loose band or bracket can generally be left in place until seen in our office. Call us to schedule a repair appointment.

  • If a severe injury occurs seek immediate medical care.

Direct Injuries to the Mouth and Teeth

Following a direct injury, immediately ice, and contact your regular dentist and our office as soon as possible. If a tooth has been displaced, knocked out, or fractured, contact your family dentist first and then notify our practice.

Common Orthodontic Issues

As much as we try to avoid orthodontic issues, they do occasionally arise. If you experience any of the below situations, please contact us.

The discomfort that can arise as your teeth move to their correct positions will feel more like discomfort or soreness than actual pain.  This is normal and nothing to worry about! To mitigate any discomfort take over-the-counter pain relievers to manage the discomfort.

As your teeth move into their correct positions, they may feel loose – don’t worry. They are merely shifting correctly. The looseness will fade as you get accustomed to the movement.

If your discomfort does not subside or feels more like a shooting sensation, there could be an issue. Call our office if you’re worried about pain.

Loose brackets or brackets detached from your teeth can happen. This can result from eating hard/sticky foods, playing with the brackets, bumping into something with your braces, or from a multitude of other reasons.

This is not a serious emergency and does not impose on the effectiveness of your braces.

If you have a loose bracket or if a bracket breaks, call our office to fix it. In the meantime, leave it in place and cover it with wax if needed. If the bracket breaks off entirely, you can carefully remove it and we will repair it during your next appointment.

As your mouth gets used to having braces on your teeth, it is normal for the braces to cause irritation and small sores or ulcers in your mouth.

While they can be uncomfortable, these irritations are normal. Here are some ways you can help ease any discomfort:

  • Avoid touching them with your fingers.
  • Cover the irritating bracket or wire with wax and/or take over-the-counter pain medications.
  • You may also use oral topical gels.

These issues are normal and generally go away in time. However, if sores and ulcers continue to arise and are causing significant discomfort, call our office.

The wire on your braces can slip out completely. If this happens, call our office.

Try to fit it back into the molar tube with your fingers or with clean tweezers. If you can’t fit it back in, you can also clip it back with clean nail clippers and remove the loose piece.

If your braces use steel ligatures to connect wires and brackets, these sometimes can unwind and poke your lips, gums, or other parts of your mouth. If this happens, call our office.

Try to push it back into place with your finger, clean eraser end of a pencil, or use wax to cover the end of the poking wire.

We place elastic bands over the brackets to help secure the archwire on your braces. If one of these bands comes off, it’s okay.

If this happens, you can try to place the rubber band back on with your fingers or clean tweezers, or leave it off until your next appointment. If the wire starts getting loose or the bracket starts to irritate your mouth, call our office.

After Office Hours

If an orthodontic emergency arises where the patient is in severe and/or unusual pain after hours, please contact our office. Information is available regarding who to contact for further assistance: (775) 825-1881.

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