Emergencies

Orthodontic situations that require immediate care are rare and generally aid can be applied at home to help the situation.

Situations that may require special attention are if the patient has received a blow or trauma to their mouth such as a sports injury. If a mouth guard has not been worn lacerations to the inside of the mouth can result. Parts of the braces may become loose or in the most serious of cases damage can occur to teeth and their nerves. If this occurs after hours or at the weekend then contact your general dentist or Princess Margaret Hospital for emergency care to assess the health of the teeth involved.

Please contact our practice after seeking immediate aid and we will schedule a suitable time to carry out any repair work on the braces. Please see our trouble shooting page for advice on techniques to improve the patients comfort.

Appliance breakages

The most common cause is due to eating hard or very chewy food so these problems are usually avoidable.

Breakages must be reported to the practice in a timely fashion. Leaving a breakage for even a short time can significantly increase your overall treatment time, as the next phase of treatment may not be able to be implemented at your next appointment because of the breakage.

Breakages include: Loose bands, braces that have come unstuck from the tooth, elastics that have fallen off, broken or bent wires, wires that have come out of the braces and broken plates.

Please call us when something is loose or broken – do not wait until your next appointment, regardless of how soon it is. Should you present for your normal appointment with an unreported breakage we may be unable to carry out repair and may have to arrange another appointment as time will have not been allocated to attend to the repair. Repair appointments will be scheduled between 11am and 2pm. Breakages and emergencies often require additional appointment time for us to manage the issue. It is therefore not possible to "squeeze in" these appointments after school and this may cause unnecessary inconvenience for patients with pre-booked appointments.

Broken Bracket

A broken bracket is when the metal (or clear) square is no longer glued on to the tooth. Please phone us at your convenience to arrange a repair visit. Please do not leave breakages until your next scheduled visit. Not only may it extend your treatment time, but if you have an after school appointment we may not have time to do the repair and you will be given another appointment.

Lost O Ring

A lost O ring is when a coloured tie is missing from around the bracket. Please phone us at your convenience to arrange a repair visit.

Wire Ligature

A wire ligature is sometimes used instead of a coloured tie. They are always used fo hold the lower archwire in place when FORSUS springs ( Distalising appliance) is being used. If one comes off the brace then it should be replaced immediately so please call to organize a replacement appointment.

Loose Band

A loose band is when the metal ring around your teeth may be moving up or down and is no longer cemented onto your tooth. Please phone us at your convenience to arrange a repair visit.

Wire

If a wire is poking into your cheek his can be quite uncomfortable. It can be fixed by a quick trim so contact us as soon as possible. In the mean time you can cover the sharp end with a tissue, some wax or gum until you see us.

Discomfort following placement of a brace of plate

It is quite normal to experience some discomfort or tenderness over the first few days. Paracetamol will help relieve this. It will also help to eat only soft foods in the first few days.

Since your mouth is not used to having braces your lips and cheeks may rub against them. It helps to place a small ball of wax over the bracket or wire to avoid an ulcer developing. To place the wax, first dry the area as much as possible with a tissue, then roll the wax into a ball and place over the brace. The wax will need to be removed for thorough tooth brushing and you may like to remove it for eating. It is usually only required in the first one to two weeks while your mouth is getting used to the braces.