Orthodontic emergencies are rare. A broken bracket or ligature may be annoying, but it's rarely painful. Usually, these types of repairs can be made during a routine office visit. On the other hand, a displaced wire or other traumatic incident may require immediate attention. So, follow these guidelines:

Call Theresa Shaver Orthodontics as soon as possible if you break or loosen any of your braces. Please do not come directly to the office – by calling us, you will allow us to create a time to see you. Even if you have a regular appointment scheduled, call us immediately to notify us if you need an appliance repaired. On weekends and after-hours, please call our office at 303.751.1313. A recording will give you further information on how to handle a 'true' orthodontic emergency.

What To Do If A Bracket Or Wire Is Loosened 

Call our office immediately for advice if a bracket or wire is loosened. The bracket may need to be re-bonded as soon as possible. If you have a situation at night or over a weekend that requires cutting a wire (or sliding a bracket off of a wire), you may carefully clip the wire by using fingernail clipper that has been washed and sterilized in alcohol. Please call our office the next business day, so that we may schedule an appointment to see you.

What To Do If A Wire Is Causing Discomfort

Sometimes discomfort caused by a wire on your braces can be resolved by moving the wire away from the irritated area with a cotton swab or sterilized eraser that has been washed and dipped in alcohol. 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 the wire continues to be painful, call our office for assistance.

What To Do If A Separator is Lost

If you have lost a separator and have an appointment the next day, do not worry about the lost separator. If you do not have an appointment within 24 hours of losing the separator please call our office to see if it needs to be replaced.

What To Do About Initial Discomfort After Getting Braces Or Having Routine Adjustments

During the first week after your braces are in place and routine adjustments are complete, you may feel some minor pain, soreess or discomfort. You may take acetaminophen or other non-aspirin pain relievers while you adjust to your new braces. A warm wash cloth or heating pad may also help reduce the soreness in your jaws.

What To Do About Direct Injuries To The Mouth Or Teeth

Following a direct injury to your mouth or teeth, whether undergoing orthodontic care or not, you should immediately ice the injured area and contact your regular dentist as soon as possible. Usually an x-ray of the involved tooth or teeth is needed to determine the extent of injury. If a tooth has been displaced, knocked out or fractured, it is best to contact your family dentist first, since we may not have the necessary materials or anesthesia required to treat these injuries. If your orthodontic appliances are dislodged or displaced, we will need to replace or adjust the appliances as soon as possible, after you have seen your general dentist, depending upon your comfort level.