Emergency Care

Your health and comfort is extremely important to us. During the course of orthodontic treatment, we realize that you may experience a variety of issues or concerns. Typically, most of these are considered non-emergencies. However, we want you to be able to recognize when to seek immediate medical attention.

Emergencies 

If you experience any of the following emergencies, please call us at 703-574-2174. If you are calling after normal office hours, your call will be immediately directed to the assistant on call.

• Trauma to the face, teeth or jaw (i.e. due to sports injury, fall, accident).

• Sharp, excruciating pain.

• Loose appliance (Expander, Trans-Palatal Arch (TPA), MARA, Headgear).

• Pontic (false tooth) came out.

• Band (metal ring that wraps completely around a molar tooth) came off or loose/pokey lingual (permanent) retainer (wire has come unglued).

• If you are experiencing swollen gums, with an abscess, contact your general dentist immediately.

 

Non-Emergencies

Below is a list of non-emergency issues that may arise and common at-home adjustments that can be made to resolve any discomfort.

Pokey Braces/Brackets

If your braces (brackets) are rubbing against your lip or cheek and causing discomfort, you can:

• Place orthodontic wax on the bracket(s) causing the pain.

• Use Oragel to numb the area in your mouth that is sore.

• These supplies were included in your orthodontic kit, but can also be found at the drug store.


Loose Braces/Brackets

• If your bracket or band (metal ring that wraps completely around a molar tooth) is loose, but still attached to the wire, leave it in place. Put wax on the bracket, if needed, for comfort.

• If the bracket or band can be removed easily, place it in an envelope and save it for your next appointment.

• If the bracket is one that is used for elastics, stop wearing elastics.

• Please contact our office at 703-574-2174. If you are calling after office hours, please leave a message and we will contact you during normal business hours to schedule an appointment.


Pokey/Loose Wire

• If your wire has slid to one side, you can pull it back into place with needle-nosed pliers. Slide it back into the bracket slit or band tube on the back tooth.

• If an individual metal tie is loose, you can use a pencil eraser to tuck the tail end of the wire back in place, underneath the bracket.

• If you are unable to get the wire into a comfortable position, place wax on the wire for comfort.

• If you are still in discomfort, use a small fingernail clipper to cut the wire. Be sure to cut the wire behind the back tooth.

• If you continue to have issues, please call our office at 703-574-2174. If you are calling after office hours, please leave a message and we will contact you during normal business hours to schedule an appointment.

Power Chain or Colored O-ring Came Off

• If one of your colored chains/o-rings has come off, leave it off.

• Please contact our office at 703-574-2174. If you are calling after office hours, please leave a message and we will contact you during normal business hours to schedule an appointment.

• Depending on the timing of your next appointment, we may need to schedule an earlier appointment to replace the chain/o-ring.


Lost Invisalign Tray

• If you have your previous set of trays, you can use that set of trays until you are able to pick up a new set from our office.

• If not, do not worry. You can go 2-3 days without wearing trays.

• Please contact our office at 703-574-2174. If you are calling after office hours, please leave a message and we will contact you during normal business hours. We will confirm that we have the next set of trays available for you to pick up. If you are unable to pick them up, we can ship the trays to you.


Invisalign Tray Cutting Into Gum

• Take a nail file and gently file down the area that is causing the discomfort.

• If you are unable to resolve the issue, please contact our office at 703-574-2174. If you are calling after office hours, please leave a message and we will contact you during normal business hours to schedule an appointment.


Invisalign Attachment/Button Fell Off

• You can actually go a few days without the button/attachment.

• Please contact our office at 703-574-2174. If you are calling after office hours, please leave a message and we will contact you during normal business hours to schedule an appointment.

• Depending on the timing of your next appointment, we may need to schedule an earlier appointment to replace the attachment.


Broken Retainer

• Please contact our office at 703-574-2174. If you are calling after office hours, please leave a message and we will contact you during normal business hours to schedule an appointment.


Irritated/Bleeding/Sore Gums

• Irritated gums, and other sore spots in your mouth, can be relieved by rinsing with a warm, salt water mouthwash. Dissolve one teaspoonful of salt in eight ounces of warm water. Then, rinse your mouth vigorously.

• An alternative mouthwash is Peroxyl rinse.

• Placing Orabase or Oragel on the affected area may also help relieve discomfort.

• These supplies were included in your orthodontic kit, but can also be found at the drug store.

General Soreness/Discomfort

• Discomfort/soreness for a few days after your orthodontic appointment is typical and normal. If the tenderness is severe, take Acetaminophen (Tylenol).

• As your mouth adjusts to the braces/Invisalign, the pain should subside.