Ligature, Archwire, Brackets, Metal Bands, Elastics Hooks and Rubber Bands Definition and Explanation

There are very few true orthodontic emergencies but when they do occur, we are always here to assist you. In the event of the emergency, please call our office as soon as possible. If you reach our office after hours and you are in pain, please call the emergency number given on our voicemail. Dr. Moore or one of our staff members will be happy to help you.  If you are not in pain, please leave a voicemail and one of our staff members can get back to you as soon as possible.  

Until you can make it into the office, here are some helpful tips and videos for our orthodontic patients. When in doubt, please call the office. We are always available when it comes to the care of our patients!

General Soreness

When you get your braces on or after an adjustment appointment, you may feel tenderness and general soreness in your mouth for approximately three to five days.  It might be comforting to eat soft foods such as pasta and soup for the next few days until the soreness subsides.  Patients can also take whatever they would normally take for pain or headaches, such as acetaminophen.  

Loss of Spacers, color ties, rubber bands

If your spacers/separators or color ties are lost, or you lose/run out of your rubber bands, please contact our office.  We will give you further instructions on what to do next.  

Wire/Bracket Irritations

The wires and brackets may cause initial irritation on the lips, tongue, and cheeks. You can place some wax on the areas that are irritating to lessen this irritation. The trick with applying wax is to dry the area that is causing the irritation the best you can. To dry the area pull your cheek away from the irritating bracket and dry the bracket with a cotton swab. In addition to the wax, you can use a warm saltwater rinse.  Mix about one teaspoon of salt in eight ounces of warm water, gargle and spit.  Do this several times a day. If the area does not feel better within a few days, call our office to schedule an appointment.

Loose Wires / Wire Pokes

Use a tweezers to attempt to put the wire back into its place, or use an eraser end of a pencil, or a cotton swab to bend the wire down.  You can also place some wax on the spot to help relieve the discomfort until you can make it into the office.  If the wire is painful, you can cut it with a nail clippers which has been washed and sterilized in alcohol.  Please call our office to set up an appointment to have it repaired. 

Loose Bracket

If a bracket or band becomes loose or comes off, please call our office to determine appropriate next steps.  Until you can get into the office to see us, you can push the loose bracket up against an adjacent bracket and secure it with wax if it is irritating to the patient.    

Direct Injuries to mouth/trauma

In the event of a direct injury to your mouth or teeth, please contact your general dentist as soon as possible.  Your general dentist will need to evaluate you for possible tooth fracture and to determine the extent of the injury.  If your braces/appliances become dislodged, please call the office after you have seen your general dentist.