You'll Love to know that true orthodontic emergencies are rare! Broken brackets or attachments, pokey wires, loose retainers, and ill-fitting aligners are aggravating, but the great news is that these issues are often not emergencies and can be addressed during normal business hours. As a general rule, you should call our office if you experience severe pain, swelling, or bleeding.
Many minor issues can be solved by adults with easy at-home techniques. Then, text or call our office at (765) 282-3200 to schedule an appointment to address the issue.
Some soreness is normal during orthodontic tooth movement whether you're being treated with Invisalign® or braces. For the first 3 to 5 days, or even more, patients should stick to a soft diet with chewier foods cut into small pieces. Irritated gums and other sore spots can be relieved by swishing with a warm salt water rinse by dissolving one teaspoonful of salt in eight ounces of warm water. If the tenderness is severe, consider over-the-counter pain medication taken for general aches and pains. Acetaminophen (Tylenol) is preferred over Aspirin, Ibuprofen (Motrin, Advil) and Naproxen Sodium (Aleve) as research shows the latter can actually slow tooth movement.
Loose Retainer or Aligner
If there is no danger of swallowing any part of the appliance, continue wearing it to prevent any relapse. We'll be able to evaluate and address the issue at your next appointment.
Loose Bracket or Band
Loose brackets or bands still secured to the wire can be left in place. Apply soft wax for comfort, if needed. If the bracket or band can be easily removed, place it in a plastic bag and bring it to your next appointment.
Loose or Pokey Wire
As teeth move, it is not uncommon for the wire to "grow" towards the back teeth. Simply placing soft wax on the pokey end is usually sufficient. However, if the end of the wire is long enough, visible, and accessible, adults may choose to safely clip the long pokey end with a nail clipper being careful that the clipped piece is not swallowed. If the wire comes out of one or more of the brackets altogether, use tweezers or needle-nosed pliers to insert the wire back into place, or a pencil eraser to bend the wire into a more comfortable position.