Orthodontic Emergency Care
True orthodontic emergencies are very rare, but when they do occur we are available to you. As a general rule, you should call our office when you experience severe pain or when you have a painful appliance problem that you can’t take care of yourself. If something becomes loose or breaks, it’s most likely not an emergency. Contact RxSmiles during normal business hours to schedule an appointment for repair. In the meantime, you can find temporary solutions to common braces issues throughout this page.
Traumatic Injury to the Mouth and Teeth
If you experience trauma to your face or mouth or feel emergency care is necessary, call RxSmiles right away. Dr. Greenberg offers 24-hour, on-call urgent care service for patients, so call our office. Our emergency care answering service will contact us immediately.
Non-Emergencies Related to Orthodontic Appliances
Soreness from Braces
When you get your braces on, you may feel general soreness in your mouth and your teeth may be tender to biting pressures for three to five days. Eating soft foods such as soups, yogurt and macaroni and cheese may be needed for a few days. Over-the-counter pain relievers like acetaminophen or ibuprofen can help with the pain.
Mouth Sores and Irritation of Lips and Cheeks from Dental Braces
With braces, you might experience a few mouth sores. The lips, cheeks, and tongue may also become irritated for one to two weeks as they toughen and become accustomed to the surface of the braces. To help alleviate some of the irritation, Dr. Greenberg will provide you with relief wax. Simply pinch off a small piece and roll it into a tiny ball. Flatten the ball and place it over the area of the braces that is causing the irritation. You will be able to eat better, talk better, and feel better just by having a little buffer between your braces and your cheek or lip. If the wax comes off and is swallowed, don’t worry, it is harmless.
Loose Dental Appliance, Bracket, or Band
Loose brackets: Brackets serve as handles to hold the wire of the braces in place. Brackets are generally bonded to the teeth with adhesive. They are tough, sturdy and stable. But if you eat hard, crunchy or sticky types of food, the brackets can loosen. If you get hit in the mouth, the brackets can loosen, too. Apply a small piece of orthodontic wax to temporarily reattach loose brackets, or place wax over the bracket to provide a cushion between the bracket and your gums and other soft tissues of the mouth. Dr. Greenberg provides orthodontic wax to you when you first get braces. If your bracket falls off completely, save your bracket and bring it to your next appointment. A loose bracket is not an emergency. Call RxSmiles during normal business hours to schedule an appointment to have your bracket re-bonded.
Loose bands: These will need to be replaced or recemented into place. Save the band and call RX Smile to schedule an appointment for the repair.
Protruding or broken wire: The archwire of braces fits in the horizontal slots in each bracket. The wire is secured to all of the brackets, and occasionally, simply by the act of biting and chewing, the end of a wire will work itself out and cause irritation. The best way to alleviate the discomfort is to push the wire back down. Use an eraser end of a pencil to move the wire to a less bothersome position. If you can’t move it out of the way, apply a small amount of orthodontic wax over the protruding end. Do not attempt to cut the wire because you might accidentally swallow it or inhale it into your lungs. If a mouth sore develops from the wire poking the inside of your mouth, rinse your mouth with warm salt water or an antiseptic rinse. An over-the-counter dental anesthetic can also be applied to numb the area. Make a follow-up appointment with RxSmiles to make sure the braces are still secure and to get a different wire if necessary.
Loose spacers: These will need to be repositioned or replaced if they slip or fall out completely. Please call RxSmiles during normal business hours to schedule an appointment.
To stay fresh and germ-free, all retainers need proper cleaning. Every time you brush your teeth, brush your retainer as well, but not with toothpaste. The abrasiveness of the toothpaste may scratch the retainer. Once a day, disinfect the retainer by soaking it in a denture cleanser, such as Efferdent, Polident, or other brand name solution. Add the cleanser to a cup full of warm, never hot, water. Thoroughly rinse the retainer with plain water before placing it back in your mouth.
Finally, remember to always carry and use a retainer case. You’d be surprised how many retainers end up folded in a napkin and accidentally discarded! Also, don’t expose your retainer to excess heat by washing it in very hot water or leaving it on a heater. The high heat can cause the retainer to warp and make it unusable. With proper care and conscientious use, a retainer can help you transition from braces to a permanent, healthy smile.
Our goal at RxSmile Frisco orthodontics office with Dr. Greg Greenberg is to provide highly personalized and comprehensive orthodontic care for our families in the Frisco-Plano metropolitan area. If you have questions about braces and would like to make an appointment with our orthodontist, Dr. Greg Greenberg, please call 972 335 1300 Monday through Thursday, or submit an online appointment request and we will respond within one business day.