Orthodontic Emergencies


Orthodontic Emergencies

If you experience a breakage or loosening of any of your appliances please call our office as soon as possible. Please do not come directly to the office. By calling us first we will be able to schedule a time to see you. If you have a scheduled appointment already, please call to let us know that you need something repaired so that we may add additional time to your appointment if needed.

If you need assistance after hours, please call our office phone line and leave a message on our emergency service so that we may contact you. Please be sure to leave your name, phone number with area code, and a brief message.

212-877-7177

For extreme emergencies, email Dr. Stachel at drjenn@stachelorthodonticsnyc.com or call her at 917-589-2329.

For help with scheduling needs, financial questions, or any other type of reception needs, please email Stephanie at stephanie@stachelorthodonticsnyc.com or call (212) 877-7177.

Solutions for Invisalign-Related Orthodontic Emergencies.
These are great at-home tips that can be very helpful until you can be seen in the office.

Rough Edges on Your Aligner

If you have a rough area on your aligner, gently smooth the area with an emery board. The aligner should feel more comfortable.

Mouth Irritation and Sores

Starting Invisalign with attachments or switching to a new aligner will probably feeling rather odd. Your gums, teeth, and cheeks will likely be sore for about 3-5 days after your installation appointment. This should quickly subside, but there are a few things that you can do in the meantime to help with the pain. The first of these is to take an over-the-counter pain reliever. There are many options, but we recommend sticking to what you would take for a headache, muscle ache or similar pain. Another option is to rinse your mouth with a warm saltwater solution. Just mix one teaspoon of salt with about 8 ounces of warm water and swish vigorously. This technique is great for sore gums and teeth. Sticking to a softer diet for the first few days is recommended. Once you are feeling back to normal, you can start eating anything that you would like.

Lost or Broken Aligner

If your aligner becomes lost or broken, and you are close to the time of changing into a new aligner, it may be okay to move into your next aligner. You may try on your next aligner to see if it fits properly. However, please call our office to confirm if this is an option for you.

If you are not close to the day of changing, please go back to your previous aligner.

Lost or Broken Attachment

If an attachment becomes loose and falls off do not panic. Please call us for an appointment, and we will schedule an appointment for you as soon as possible.

DO NOT TRANSITION TO YOUR NEXT ALIGNER UNTIL ALL GAPS
BETWEEN THE TEETH AND THE ALIGNER ARE RESOLVED.

Your aligners should have no visible space seen between the edge of the teeth, and the aligner itself, when you are ready to change. The aligners should always fit tight over the teeth so no space is visible at the edge of the teeth. If you can see light through the aligners, try seating the aligners with the chewies that you received from our office on the day you received your first set of aligners. To use the chewies, bite down and hold in the area where the aligner needs to fit better for 10 seconds, then release. Repeat this process for 5 minutes at a time, up to three times per day, until the space is reduced. In general, you should use chewies on a regular basis throughout your treatment. We recommend twice a day for 5 minutes biting at 10 second intervals. Please call our office to schedule an appointment if you cannot seat the aligner fully.
**If you have a history of TMJ, do not use the chewies, but instead use steady finger pressure to push the aligner in place instead, always making sure not to put pressure on you lower jaw if the problem is on the lower teeth.

Solutions for Braces-Related Orthodontic Emergencies.
These are great at-home tips that can be very helpful until you can be seen our office.

Loose Brackets

If a bracket is loose, please give us a call, so we can schedule an appointment to repair it. If it has remained in the proper position and is loose, we will repair it at our earliest convenience. If the bracket is flipped on the wire and causing any discomfort, try using a pair of sterile tweezers to slide the bracket along the wire until it’s between two teeth. Once between the two teeth, adjust the bracket by flipping the bracket until it’s in the proper alignment and slide it back to the center of the original tooth. That should take away any discomfort until you can be seen in our office for a repair. Also, covering it with a piece of wax will help it from possibly flipping again.

Loose Wires

Just like brackets, the wires connecting the braces can move and cause discomfort as well. Typically, wires fit snugly along horizontal slots on the brackets, but sometimes they can bend out of position. This can cause very unpleasant irritation, and you’ll likely find yourself looking for the quickest solution possible. Often when this happens, try pushing the wire back into place with a pencil eraser, Q-tip, or a sterile pair of tweezers. It may take a few attempts to get it into a comfortable position. In some cases, you might not be able to straighten things out yourself, and the wire is still unbearably poking and prodding some sensitive areas of your mouth. As a last resort, you can cut a small section of wire with sharp clippers. If you need to do this, be extremely careful! Put gauze or paper towels around the area, so you don’t accidentally swallow a piece of the wire. Again, these tips are only to keep you comfortable until you are able to be seen by our office.

Poking Wires

If your brackets are in place, but you still feel some uncomfortable poking, try using wax on the area as a first resort. You can try moving it to a comfortable position with the Q-tip or pencil eraser method listed above, or even clipping it if all else fails until you are able to be seen by our office.

Mouth Irritation and Sores

If you recently had braces put on, your mouth is probably feeling rather odd. Your gums, teeth, and cheeks will likely be sore for about 3-5 days after your installation appointment. This should quickly subside, but there are a few things you can do in the meantime to help with the pain. The first of these is to just take an over-the-counter pain reliever. There are tons of options, but we recommend sticking to what you would use for a headache, muscle ache or similar pain. This will keep you comfortable until you and your mouth adjust. Another option is to rinse your mouth with a warm saltwater solution. Mix one teaspoon of salt with about 8 ounces of warm water and swish vigorously. This technique is great for sore gums and teeth. Sticking to a softer diet for the first few days is recommended. Once you are feeling back to normal, you may start eating anything you’d like with the exception of anything sticky or chewy. Sticky and chewy foods should be avoided throughout treatment, because they are usually the source of the situations mentioned above.

If you have a particularly irritated area, try applying a product like Orabase, which can be found at most drug stores. Also, remember to use the wax provided by our office. Apply to the bracket or wire that’s doing the most rubbing. After a week or two, most patient’s mouths have adjusted to the braces. At that point, you’ll probably forget that you have the braces on at all.

Get in Touch

The majority of problems you might experience with your braces during the first few weeks of treatment can be solved at home, but you shouldn’t hesitate to contact us if you’re unsure about anything. Our patients’ comfort and security concerning treatment is our primary concern.

We invite you to call our office at (212) 877-7177 for help with general questions, scheduling needs, financial questions, or any other type of reception needs. You can also email Stephanie at stephanie@stachelorthodonticsnyc.com.

If you are dealing with an extreme emergency, please call Dr. Stachel at 917-589-2329.