Emergency Care

True orthodontic emergencies are very rare, but when they do occur we are available for you. As a general rule, you should call the office when you experience severe pain or when you have a painful appliance problem that you can’t take care of yourself (see self-help suggestions below).

If there is any disturbance, such as loose bands, braces, or broken and bent wires, call us as soon as possible at (616) 887-4002. We will evaluate the urgency of the problem and schedule you accordingly. Knowing the name of a broken or out of place part is very helpful when you call our office. If you “Google/internet search” “parts of braces” you will find lots of pictures to help you identify all of the parts that make up your braces. The following are helpful hints to remedy some of the problems you may encounter.

Self-help until you schedule an appointment with our office. After alleviating your discomfort, it is still very important to 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 to disruptions in your treatment plan.

  • General Soreness

    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. For cheek, lip and tongue soreness rinsing your mouth with a warm saltwater may help. Dissolve one teaspoonful of salt in eight ounces of warm water, and rinse your mouth vigorously. Placing Orabase on the sore lip, cheek or tongue may also help; this can be found in a pharmacy. For tooth and jaw tenderness you may take the over-the-counter medicine you normally take for headache or similar pain. For fast help for your lips, cheeks and tongue as they toughen and become accustomed to the surface of the braces use orthodontic wax provided in your started kit. Break off a bit of wax from the package and soften it by rolling it between your fingers then pack it on your braces in the area of your sore lip or cheek. Tongue soreness can be caused by continually rolling it around on your braces and checking them out because they are a new to your mouth.

  • Headgear

    Sometimes headgear discomfort is caused by not wearing the headgear as prescribed by your orthodontist. Surprisingly, headgear will become more comfortable as it’s worn more, so be sure you’re getting in the prescribed number of hours. If the wire facebow is bent, please call our office for assistance.

  • Poking Wire or Bracket

    If your appliance is poking you, the orthodontic wax provided in your starter kit can be packed on the sharp/bothersome part of your appliance.

  • Loose Bracket/Brace

    If your bracket or band is still attached to the wire, you should leave it in place and pack wax on it if it is bothering you and call us to schedule a repair appointment. If a bracket or wire comes completely out save it in a plastic bag or envelope and call us for a extra repair appointment. Please bring any broken parts with you to your appointment.

  • Loose Wire

    Using tweezers or needle-nose pliers, try to put your wire back into place. If doing this and using wax doesn’t help, as a last resort use a fingernail clipper or small wire cutter to clip the wire behind the last brace to which the wire is securely fastened. If your discomfort continues, pack wax on it and call us for an extra repair appointment.

  • Poking Tiny Bracket Wire

    Using a pencil eraser, push the poking wire down or place wax on it to alleviate the discomfort.