If our office is closed and you have an issue with your braces that requires immediate medical attention, first try to contact the doctor via the after-hours line. Keep in mind that a true orthodontic emergency is rare. Most situations can actually be handled at home. In the case of a broken appliance or a wire that’s out of place, call us and schedule an appointment right away at (281) 752-4222 (West Houston) or (713) 667-6000 (Bellaire) and we’ll fix it. If the following mishaps occur, take these steps to make yourself more comfortable while you’re waiting for your appointment:
Do braces hurt? Not really and you should never feel serious pain. However, your teeth and gums will feel tender and a little sore for the first few days to a week after getting braces put on. You might also have similar soreness after adjustments but it will last for a shorter amount of time. You can treat any discomfort with over-the-counter pain relievers. Look for those that also address inflammation, such as Motrin. Or, make a saltwater rinse by dissolving one teaspoon of salt in eight ounces of warm water. Swish it vigorously around in your mouth and then spit out. Repeat as often as necessary.
Loosening of Teeth
A lot of our Houston and Bellaire braces patients have a moment where they realize their teeth feel loose and panic that they’re going to fall out. Don’t worry! Your teeth will stay right where they are (well, almost right where they are). The reason your teeth feel loose during orthodontic treatment is because they’re moving into their ideal positions. Once your teeth are in their final places, the supporting tissues and teeth will firm up and things will go back to normal.
When you first get braces, it’s common for the brackets and wires to irritate your lips and cheeks. The inside of your mouth will toughen up in a few weeks. In the meantime, you can make a saltwater rinse by dissolving one teaspoon of salt in a glass of warm water, swishing it around your mouth and then spitting it out. You can also warm up a tiny piece of orthodontic relief wax in between your fingers and place it over the part of your braces that is irritating you.
Loose or Broken Bracket
If the bracket is still attached to the wire, you should leave it in place. Carefully push the bracket back to its correct position and cover it with a piece of orthodontic wax. If the bracket comes off and your wire comes out entirely, wrap the bracket in a piece of tissue and gently remove it from your mouth. Call our office and we’ll get you in for a repair appointment.
If your braces wire is poking you in the cheek and it’s uncomfortable, gently use the eraser end of a new pencil or a clean cotton swab to try to move it against the nearest tooth and out of the way. Then, dry it off with a piece of tissue and place orthodontic wax over it. Call us and we’ll schedule you for an appointment if necessary.