Emergency Care

Emergency Care:

While most "true" orthodontic emergencies can be rare, you can rest assured knowing your orthodontist will be there if one does occur. In general, try to call our office if experiencing severe pain, or if you have an appliance problem you can not take care of yourself. We will schedule an appointment ASAP to resolve your problem.

It may be surprising to some to learn that you can solve many of your problems temporarily at home, before getting to come into our office. If there is a piece loose in your appliance that you can remove, put it in a plastic bag and bring it with you to your next appointment. If you braces are poking you, try putting soft wax on the piece that is sticking out. If a wire had slide to one side, you can pull it back to the other side with needle-nosed pliers, replacing it in the tube on the back tooth. 

After alleviating your discomfort, it is very important that you still schedule an appointment as soon as possible to repair the problem. Allowing your appliance to remain damaged for an extended period of time may result in disruptions to your treatment plan.

Below you can review some more at-home remedies to the most common orthodontic issues our patients encounter:


General soreness

When first getting your braces put on, there may be a general feeling of soreness in the mouth, and the teeth may be tender to biting pressures for 3 to 5 days. It is best to stick to a diet of soft foods until the teeth no longer hurt. For any other gum irritation or sore spots, try rinsing your mouth with warm salt-water mouthwash for relief. You can create this solution by dissolving one teaspoonful of salt in an eight-ounce glass of warm water, and then rinsing the mouth vigorously with it. Oral numbing gels, such as Orajel or Orabase, can also be placed on the spot of irritation to relieve discomfort. These products can be found in most pharmacies. If the tenderness is severe, trying taking Tylenol or whatever product you take for headaches or minor, similar pain. Aspirin, Ibuprofen (Motrin, Advil) and Naproxen Sodium (Naprosyn, Anaprox) actually slow the tooth movement, so it is not advisable to use them frequently while wearing braces.

The lips, cheeks, and tongue may become irritated for one to two weeks as they learn a new posture and become accustomed to the surface of the braces. You can put wax on the braces to lessen this. We'll show you how at your appointment!



Sometimes discomfort is caused by not wearing the headgear as instructed by your Washington Township orthodontist. Please refer to the instructions provided by your orthodontist. If the face bow (metal piece) is bent, please call our office for assistance. The headgear should hurt less the more it's worn, so be sure you get to wear it for the prescribed number of hours.


Loose appliance

If your appliance is poking you, place wax on the offending part.


Loose bracket

If your bracket or band is still attached to the wire, you should leave it in place and put wax on it if needed for comfort. If the bracket or band can be removed easily, place it in an envelope and save it to bring to your next appointment.


Loose wire

Using a pair of tweezers or needle-nosed pliers, try to put your wire back into place. It is okay to use a piece of floss to tie the wire into place: tie the floss around the bracket in place of the missing colored o-ring. If you cannot put the wire into a comfortable position, and covering the end with wax doesn't help, as a last resort use a small fingernail clipper to clip the wire behind the last tooth to which it is securely fastened. If the end of the wire is still sharp place wax on it.


Poking wire

Using a pencil eraser, push the poking wire down or place wax on it so that it is no longer poking.


For more information on these at-home remedies or to schedule an appointment your orthodontist, call Freda & Suriano Orthodontics today!

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