Happily, there are very few true orthodontic emergencies! Some orthodontic problems can be remedied at home, or you may need the help of a Chelsea Orthodontics team member.  Surprisingly, most orthodontic problems can be remedied at home.  These guidelines may help you resolve minor problems. If you have a painful orthodontic problem that you can't fix, please leave a message on our emergency line at 734-475-9143 extension 3.  Your message will be transferred to a Chelsea Orthodontics team member who will return your call as soon as possible.

Sore Teeth/Discomfort with Orthodontic Treatment

Right after you get your braces, and sometimes after you have an adjustment appointment, your teeth and mouth may feel sore. To alleviate the soreness, Dr. Barkley recommends taking acetaminophen or other non-aspirin pain relievers while you adjust to your new braces. You can also rinse your teeth with lukewarm saltwater, which is a mixture of one teaspoon of salt dissolved in eight ounces of water. A warm wash cloth or a heating pad may also reduce the soreness in your jaws.

Wire Irritations

Try moving the wire away from the irritated area with a cotton swab or eraser. If the wire will not move, try covering the end of it with a small piece of cotton or a small amount of wax. (If you've lost your wax, chew a small piece of sugarless gum and stick the gum on the poking wire.) If the wire is still painful, you can cut it with nail clippers or scissors that have been washed and sterilized in alcohol.

Loose Bracket

A bracket is a brace that attaches only to the front of the tooth. A loose bracket is generally not an orthodontic emergency.  Please leave a message at the office front desk, 734-475-9143 extension 1, to schedule an appointment to have the bracket repaired.

Loose Band

A band is a brace that wraps around a tooth like a ring. A loose band that is not tightly glued to the teeth can damage the gums and promote tooth decay and should be removed or repaired within 48 hours. If the loose band is not painful, please leave a message at the office front desk, 734-475-9143 extension 1, to schedule an appointment to have the band repaired.

Lost Separator (Spacer)

A lost separator (or spacer) is not an emergency. If you cannot replace the separator, please leave a message at our office, 734-475-9143 extension 1, to see if it needs to be replaced.

Loose Wire

Try putting the wire back in place using tweezers that have been washed and sterilized in alcohol. If that does not work, try putting wax over the wire where it is poking you. If you have a situation where you must cut the wire, you may use fingernail clippers that have been washed and sterilized in alcohol. Cut the wire behind the last bracket in which it is secured.

Lost Separator

Most patients lose a separator during their treatment. Do not worry about losing a separator, but please call our office to see if it needs to be replaced.

Lost Separator

Most patients lose a separator during their treatment. Do not worry about losing a separator, but please call our office to see if it needs to be replaced.

Lost Separator

Most patients lose a separator during their treatment. Do not worry about losing a separator, but please call our office to see if it needs to be replaced.

Lost Separator

Most patients lose a separator during their treatment. Do not worry about losing a separator, but please call our office to see if it needs to be replaced.

Lost Separator

Most patients lose a separator during their treatment. Do not worry about losing a separator, but please call our office to see if it needs to be replaced.

Blow to the Mouth

If you have been hit in the mouth (hard enough that your teeth or braces are loose), please call the emergency line at 734-475-9143 extension 3.  If Dr. Barkley is not available, we'll ask you to see your general dentist or an oral surgeon.

See an illustration of how to handle some orthodontic emergencies