What To Do in Case of an Orthodontic Emergency?

Most orthodontic concerns can wait until the office re-opens. However, in case of an emergency you can always reach us after hours. Please review the suggestions below. If you are still in need of after-hour assistance, please call our office and you will be instructed on how to reach Dr. Swiatek or the on-call orthodontic clinician.

Sore spot on cheek:

When you first receive your braces or your orthodontic appliance, sore spots may develop on the inside of your cheeks. Sometimes, braces or wires feel like they are sharp and poking the cheek. To protect your cheek, place wax on the offending bracket, wire or appliance. During non-sleeping hours, cotton rolls can be placed between the appliance and your cheek to provide relief. Rinsing with warm salt water several times a day is very soothing to your gum and cheek tissues. The cheeks will get used to the braces after a short while, usually within a few days. If you have used all of the wax provided to you, orthodontic wax can be purchased at a drug store, or we can supply you with more on our next working day.

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Tips for using wax:

  1. Break off a piece of wax about the size of a pea. Roll it between your fingers to soften it. Set it aside.
  2. Use a small piece of paper towel to dry the brace on which you are going to place the wax.  Of course, hold your cheek way to keep the brace dry.
  3. While holding the cheek away, mold the wax onto the poking brace by pushing the wax in, then down from above and up from below.  You want the wax to grab onto the brace so it stays on. If the wax is sticking to your finger, wet your finger.

Soreness:

You may take an over-the-counter pain reliever such as Tylenol or Advil as you would for a headache or similar discomfort. Soreness can be expected for 3 to 5 days after an adjustment. Warm saltwater rinses several times a day might also help.