First Aid Instructions
Listed below are solutions for minor problems one may experience with their orthodontic appliances. Simply follow the instructions and call the office if you need help during our normal business hours.
In the event of an emergency situation (severe pain that cannot be relieved with over-the-counter pain medications, bleeding, swelling or any loss of function where the patient cannot wait to be seen during regular office hours), please click here for details.
Please select from the following for instructions:
Please feel free to call the office at 412.366.0776 with additional questions or to offer some home remedies you may have come up with so that we can share them with our patients.
Loose Brace or Band
Generally, when a brace (bracket) or band comes off or loose, there is no cause for alarm. The patient’s progress within the orthodontic treatment (beginning, middle, and end) will dictate how soon the brace/band should be re-attached to the tooth. Please call our office if this happens so that we can advise you accordingly. We may need to see you sooner than your next scheduled appointment. We may not need to see you any sooner, but need to make sure that additional time is added to the patient’s next appointment time.
In some instances the arch wire may break due to excessive chewing/biting forces directed onto the wire. In after-hour situations, it is acceptable to remove the broken portion of the wire. Please contact the office to schedule an appointment to replace the broken wire. Where the patient is in his/her orthodontic progress will dictate how soon we need to schedule the patient for replacing the broken arch wire.
Arch Wire Out of Brace
Occasionally, the end of an arch wire will come out of the last brace. If this occurs, the patient has two options to deal with this. One, try to place the wire back into its slot in the last brace. A pair of tweezers is helpful in replacing the arch wire. Two, if you cannot get the wire back into its slot, the arch wire can be cut as close to the next brace that is still attached. A sharp pair of nail clippers can be used. If successful, place wax over the cut end (if needed), and call the office to schedule another appointment.
Arch Wire Protruding Out of the Back of the Brace
Due to good tooth movement, sometimes the arch wire may protrude beyond the last brace. The patient will feel that the wire is too long in the back. Should this occur, place wax over the long end and call the office to have the wire clipped. If wax will not “stick”, sugarless gum can be wadded up and placed over the long end to act as a barrier.
Small Wire Poking or Unraveling
At times, the braces are laced together with finer wires (ligatures). Should the lacing come loose, it is acceptable to cut the loose portion with nail clippers and remove the lacing. Any sharp or protruding edges- place wax over the sharp portion. Additionally, you can attempt to push the sharp edge in with a clean pencil eraser or anything dull (in case you slip) towards the tooth. Pushing the lacing in will avoid cheek irritation or gum irritation.
Swollen or Puffy Gums
Sometimes the gingival (gum) tissue between the teeth may appear to be puffy or bunched up, as the teeth have moved faster than the gum can adapt. It is very important to keep the gum tissue clean and stimulated with tooth brush, floss and/or proxy brush.