Greater Chattanooga Orthodontics, PLLC
Cheryl W. Aldridge DMD, MS
Most orthodontic emergencies do not require immediate care, but we are available to you if they do occur. If you experience severe pain or discomfort or have pain associated with an appliance, please call our office.
Call our office as soon as possible if you break a bracket, loosen a band, or have a loose appliance. Please do not come directly to the office without an appointment. By calling first, you allow our office to create time to see you which will result in shorter wait times. If you have a regular appointment scheduled, we ask that you call the office to inform us of any broken or loose items.
The following orthodontic emergencies can be temporarily treated at home until you can come in to our office to have the problem repaired:
Ligatures Come Off
The tiny rubber bands or thin wires holding the wire to the brackets are known as ligatures. If a rubber ligature comes off, you can try putting it back in place using sterile tweezers. If a wire ligature comes loose, remove it with sterile tweezers. If a wire ligature is sticking out but not loose, you can bend it back down with a pencil eraser or cotton swab.
Use a pencil eraser or cotton swab to push the wire flat against the tooth. If you are unable to position the wire to a comfortable position, try covering the end with wax. You may clip the protruding wire with a small sterilized fingernail clipper as a last resort; use a folded tissue or gauze to catch the piece of wire so that it is not swallowed. If the wire is still sharp after clipping, put wax on it.
If a bracket is loose but still attached to the wire, leave it in place and put wax on it. If the bracket can be removed, place it in an envelope or small sandwich bag to bring to your next appointment.
Headgear and Appliances
If your headgear is bent or your removable appliance is not fitting well, do not wear it until it can be properly adjusted in our office.
Discomfort with Orthodontic Treatment
Soreness and discomfort in orthodontic treatment is normal, especially within the first five to eight days of treatment or adjusting. You may take acetaminophen or other non-aspirin pain relievers while you adjust to your new braces or appliances. A warm wash cloth or heating pad may reduce the soreness in your jaws.