Here are some guidelines to help you in case of an orthodontic emergency. In any case, please contact us by phone or email in order to plan an emergency visit at our office.
If an emergency occurs while we are close please leave us a detailed message and we will call you back when we will return.
If a bracket comes off at the start of your treatment, the wire connecting the brackets is very flexible. You can therefore remove it by pulling on the wire (it may be necessary to cut it beforehand with a clean nail clipper) and thus remove the broken bracket at the same time.
If your wire is stiff, you won't be able to remove the wire yourself. Solidify the broken bracket with orthodontic wax.
Broken Metal Ligature
A metal ligature sometimes surrounds the orthodontic bracket. If it sticks out or breaks, it can injure the cheek. You can :
Push the ligature back towards the tooth using the eraser on a lead pencil;
Apply orthodontic wax.
Wire Coming Out of Last Bracket
The wire can come out of the last bracket, especially at the start of treatment, because the wire is very flexible in the beginning. You can try replacing it with eyebrow tweezers. Otherwise, you can cut it with a disinfected nail clipper if it is hurting you. Note that only the first few orthodontic wires we place are sufficiently flexible to be cut at home. Use orthodontic wax as needed.
Trouble Activating the Mechanism
If you are having difficulty finding the activation hole, the previous tour may not have been completed properly at your last activation. You must find the incompleted activation hole (towards the back of the mouth) and finish the turn by pushing towards the back. Pull the key back, being careful not to undo the now completed turn. You should see again the new activation hole towards the front.
Pain and Incomfort
It is normal to feel pressure during activations. If the pressure is excessive and painful, stop activating the appliance until the next follow-up appointment.
Pain or Incomfort
If the rim of your aligner hurts you, polish it lightly with a nail file.
If you lose your current aligner, move on to the next one in your set making sure it fits properly. If needed, wear it a few more days. In doubt or if you have any problem, get in touch with us and stop changing aligners until we can see you.
Broken or Lost Removable Retainer
If you lose or break your removable retainer, we will need to see you in order to take an impression and make a new one. Contact us to plan this appointment.
If the wire connecting the brackets is too long, or has moved to one side, it can be uncomfortable and injure the cheek. In such a case, you can:
Apply orthodontic wax at the end of the poking wire;
Attempt to cut the wire with a large nail clipper (previously disinfected);
Recenter the wire with small pliers if it has moved to one side.
Broken Elastic Chain
If the elastic chain that connects your brackets is broken or misplaced, simply contact us to change your next appointment. There is no need to worry.
Note that certain foods can color the elastic chain, without affecting its effectiveness.
When opening your mouth very wide (eg. if yawning), the upper part of the spring and the lower part (the rigid metal rod attached to the bottom wire) may separate. You will have to open your mouth wide again, compress the spring and reinsert the metal rod inside to fix it.
If a breakage occurs (a part comes off the wire), deactivate the springs on each side by separating the parts (by opening your mouth wide) and contact us. While waiting for your visit, it is possible to attach each part with dental floss to the orthodontic wire in order to make it more comfortable.
Unglued Metal Band
If you feel that your appliance is moving, on one side or on both sides, you must stop the activations. Continue to clean the device as usual and call us to book an appointment.
Space Between Front Teeth
It is normal and even expected to see a space gradually opening between the two upper central incisors during activation of the appliance. This space can sometimes be impressive, but remains normal! It will partially decrease over time.
Lost or Broken Attachment
Continue to wear your aligners as prescribed. However, if a button that served as an anchor for your rubberbands is lost, completely stop wearing rubberbands on both sides in order to avoid causing any unwanted asymmetries.
Broken Lingual Wire
If you feel a change in the position of a tooth or if you feel a tooth is unglued, contact us to make an appointment. Wear your removable retainer diligently until we can see you to prevent any tooth movement. Unless there is significant discomfort, avoid cutting the wire.