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Accidents happen and sometimes can seem pretty scary — but not to fear! Most orthodontic issues have pretty simple at-home fixes. Often, orthodontic problems aren’t as pressing as they may seem, but it’s always OK to call Fergus Orthodontics if you have questions. For example, it’s not unusual for your teeth to be uncomfortable after you first get your braces or after they’re adjusted. But when you encounter a bigger problem, such as a broken wire or popped bracket, it can cause more problems and lead to pain if it’s poking into the cheek or gums. We never want our patients to endure pain or discomfort that has an easy fix. That’s why we are always just a phone call away!

Quick Fixes for Orthodontic Issues

Several issues that seem to be orthodontic emergencies may have quick fixes available that you can do at home. This saves you a trip to the orthodontist and relieves your stress at the same time! 

Here are a couple of issues that may come up and can be fixed at home.

Sore Teeth

It’s not unusual for you to have sore teeth right after your braces are put on or right after they are adjusted. Usually, it only lasts for a few days as your teeth get used to their new movement. There are steps you can take for relief, including rinsing your mouth with warm saltwater, eating soft foods, and, if necessary, taking over-the-counter pain medication such as Tylenol or Advil. 

If your pain persists after several days and does not get better, give Fergus Orthodontics a call. We’ll schedule an appointment and see what’s going on.

Poking Elastic Hooks

Some of your brackets have tiny hooks for elastic bands. On occasion, those hooks can be bent outward, often if you eat hard foods that knock them out of place. Sometimes, the hooks can just irritate your cheek. In those cases, a small bit of dental wax over the hook can alleviate the irritation. If the hook is bent outward, you can use a pencil eraser and carefully push the hook back into its proper position. Don’t push it in too far, or you may not be able to get the elastic band around it later. 

Orthodontic Emergencies — Call Us!

Sometimes, your braces get damaged, or the glue for your brackets doesn’t set properly. In those instances, you can attempt a temporary fix until you can get in to see us. 

Loose Bracket

A bracket can come loose from your tooth. If the bracket becomes completely detached, save it in an envelope or plastic bag and bring it into Fergus Orthodontics to glue it back on properly. If it’s just loose, contact us and schedule an appointment so we can glue it back on. 

Broken or Poking Wire

A wire can stick out or break, leaving a sharp end that can poke your cheek. In such cases, the wire can be taken care of at home. If it’s a broken wire, however, it will need to be addressed by your orthodontist so your braces can continue to work efficiently. 

If it’s a wire that’s poking out, it may be possible to just put wax over it to keep it from irritating or poking your cheek. If it’s poking out enough, you may try a nail clipper or cuticle cutter to cut the extra piece of wire. Just be careful you don’t cut any other wires. You might also be able to turn the wire downward with a pencil eraser. 

If these methods don’t work or the wire is broken, give us a call right away. We’ll schedule an appointment to make repairs. 

Wire Popped Out

Your archwire can pop out of its back bracket. This usually happens when the wire gets bent by hard or sticky foods. (Hint: Don’t eat hard or sticky foods with braces!) If this happens, it may be possible to use tweezers to put the wire back into its back bracket. If that doesn’t work, give us a call, and we will bring you in for a wire replacement. 

Swallowed a Device

What happens if you swallow a piece of wax? An elastic band? A bracket? That can be scary! The first step is not to panic. Dental wax is nontoxic and will dissolve in the stomach. An elastic band or a bracket will likely pass through your system completely within a day or so. 

However, if you have trouble breathing, you should seek medical attention right away. It’s possible you inhaled the piece into your lungs. Please note: This is an EXTREMELY RARE occurrence, but please seek immediate emergency treatment if it happens. 

Take Care of Orthodontic Emergencies

Orthodontic emergencies can be scary. The key is not to panic. Most issues can be dealt with at home or at least temporarily. Contact Fergus Orthodontics if you are in the Jonesboro, AR, area for orthodontic emergencies. We can get you in and take care of your problem. If you’re unsure what to do, feel free to call us, and we can talk you through any orthodontic emergency.