First Aid and Emergency Care
Your comfort during orthodontic treatment is very important to us at Knapp Orthodontics. We want you to have resources to address common issues with braces. Please note that there is no fee for emergency services while in orthodontic treatment.
Discomfort at the start of orthodontic treatment is very common as your teeth begin to move. You may notice discomfort immediately or within 12 to 24 hours after getting your orthodontic appliances. Your lips, cheeks, and tongue may feel sore with the new appliance in your mouth. Chewing food may be difficult during this time. Pain may peak 3 days later and can last up to a week or longer. Conditions should begin to improve after this time.
Consider taking Ibuprofen (Motrin, Advil) or Acetaminophen (Tylenol) immediately after getting your orthodontic appliance to try and get a head start against discomfort and pain. Continue to take pain medication as needed but please do not take more than is recommended on the bottle. Salt water rinses – dissolve one teaspoon of salt in eight ounces of warm water and rinse your mouth vigorously for 30 seconds – can help with some of the discomfort around your cheeks and gums.
Broken brackets are generally not a real emergency and can extend treatment time if not addressed. Please call the office when you notice a broken bracket and we’ll try our best to get you in as soon as possible.
Oftentimes you can leave a broken bracket on the wire if it is not bothering you. If a broken bracket is bothering you, either move the bracket on the wire to a comfortable position, place some orthodontic wax around the bracket or remove the bracket from the wire.
Here is a video to demonstrate some of those methods:
Pokey wires can be uncomfortable to a patient. Steps can be taken for comfort until you can schedule an appointment in our office.
You can place a small piece of dental wax around the last bracket and pokey wire. If that does not relieve the pain, you can attempt to trim a pokey wire with some nail clippers.
Alternatively, you can try to slide the wire the opposite direction of the side that is poking you – link of youtube video included.
Loose Appliances - Expander, Space Maintainer, Habit Appliance
If your orthodontic appliance falls out please call our office and place the appliance in a bag and bring it with you to your appointment.
If your appliance has only come off on one side please determine if you can comfortably push the other side back onto the tooth until we can see you in our office. If you cannot push the appliance back onto the tooth please determine if you can comfortably leave the appliance in your mouth until we can get you in the office to repair the appliance. Please do not sleep with loose appliances. Please try to remove the appliance from the other side until we can see you in the office.
If your chain breaks or one of the colors on your braces falls off – No worries! This can be fixed either at your next orthodontic appointment or you can call our office if you are really concerned. Here is a video on how to clip the loose chain.
Broken Button/Attachment in Clear Aligner
If you are wearing clear aligners and one of your buttons/attachments falls off there is no need to be concerned. Please continue to wear your aligner full time. Please call us the next business day to schedule an appointment to come into the office to have it repaired.
Lost/Broken Clear Aligner Tray
If you lose or break your aligner please call our office immediately during business hours. We will either have to order you a new tray from the company, make a new tray in the office, or we’ll ask you to move to the next tray early.
After Hours Emergencies
In general there are very few orthodontic emergencies. Oftentimes wax can be placed or wires can be trimmed at home until the office is open for regular business hours and we can schedule an appointment for you. Please call our phone number (256) 532-8900 to follow a prompt. If you have a true emergency please call 9-1-1.