Emergency Care

Emergency vs. Routine Problem

True orthodontic emergencies are rare and will generally involve facial injuries or a throbbing pain that over the counter pain medications cannot control. If an emergency happens during regular business hours please call the office at (586) 416-4455. After hours please call our emergency answering service at (586) 662-0061, you will be asked to leave a very detailed message with the patient's name, nature of the emergency and the best number to reach you.  A member of our clinical staff will return your call within 2 hours.  

For more routine issues such as broken, lost, or loose appliances please call our office during regular business hours; Monday 9-5pm, Tuesday 8-4pm, Wednesday 9-6pm, Thursday 8-5pm and Friday 8-4pm.

You might be surprised to learn that you may be able to solve many problems yourself temporarily until you can get to our office. If there is a loose piece that you can remove with your fingers, put it in a plastic bag or envelope and call the office during regular business hours to set up an appointment. (Remember to bring it with you to your appointment.)

A loose bracket is not an emergency but it does need to be addressed. Use wax for comfort and to secure the bracket, then please call the office during regular business hours, Monday 9-5pm, Tuesday 8-4pm, Wednesday 9-6pm, Thursday 8-5pm and Friday 8-4pm, to set up an appointment to have the bracket repaired.  

If you have a loose or poking wire you can use your fingers to put the wire back into the band or bracket. If you are unable to replace the wire you can cover the end with wax and call the office during regular business hours, Monday 9-5pm, Tuesday 8-4pm, Wednesday 9-6pm, Thursday 8-5pm and Friday 8-4pm, to schedule an appointment.

After alleviating your discomfort, it is very important that you still call our office as soon as possible to schedule a time to repair the problem. Allowing your appliance to remain damaged for an extended period of time may result in disruptions to your treatment plan. If you have a regular appointment scheduled, call us immediately to notify us if you need an appliance repaired as this often requires additional time be held for you.

Please do not come to the office without calling first to schedule an appointment, we need to ensure we have a staff member available and schedule time to address your concern.

Adjusting to Orthodontic Treatment

During the first couple of days after your braces have been placed and after a routine adjustment, you will likely feel mild discomfort. You may take acetaminophen while you adjust to your new braces or appliance. Please try to stay away from ibuprofen, studies have shown it slows down the movement of teeth.


General soreness

When you get your braces on, you may feel general soreness in your mouth, and teeth may be tender to biting pressures for three to five days. Stick to a soft diet until your teeth do not hurt to chew. Irritated gums and other sore spots can be relieved by rinsing your mouth with a warm salt-water mouthwash. Dissolve one teaspoonful of salt in eight ounces of warm water, and rinse your mouth vigorously. An alternative mouthwash is Rincenol which is available at any drugstore or in our office. If the tenderness is severe, take Acetaminophen (Tylenol) or whatever you normally take for headache or 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!



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 an envelope and call the office during regular business hours to set up an appointment to replace. (Remember to bring it with you to your appointment.)


Loose wire

Using a pair of tweezers or needle nose pliers, try to put your wire back into place. It is ok 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, call the emergency line and you will be advised how to handle the poking wire. 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.

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