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Orthodontic Emergencies
Some minor problems can occur during orthodontic treatment, ranging from sore teeth and swollen gums to bent wires and broken brackets.

In spite of everyone's best intentions "things happen" to the wire and the brackets attached to your teeth. In most cases you will be able to fix the problem, but sometimes you will need to contact us immediately to schedule an emergency appointment. Here are a few common problems that could occur during the course of treatment:

Poking wires - When the end of the arch wire pokes the gum, tongue or cheek, use the head of a small flathead screwdriver to push the wire inside the bracket. If that does not work, try bending the wire by pushing on it just behind the bracket. If this does not work, cover the end of the wire with the wax or cotton (we gave you to handle such emergencies) to prevent it from poking the gum or cheek.

When the arch wire breaks between two brackets and pokes your gum or cheek, use the small flathead screwdriver to push the wire away from the gum or cheek. If that does not work, cover the ends of the wire with the wax or cotton (we gave you to handle such emergencies) to prevent it from poking the gum or cheek.

Sore teeth - After most adjustment visits, you can expect to experience sore teeth to some degree for the next 2-3 days, as the teeth gradually move in response to our adjustment. Over-the-counter pain relievers can be used to diminish the discomfort. Arnica, a homeopathic remedy, sometimes helps. Eating very soft foods will minimize tooth soreness. Try some of our "Soothing Recipes" during this time.
Loose bands or brackets - In the event that you loosen a band or bracket with hard or sticky food, please call us right away for a special appointment.
Lost separator - Please call immediately and tell us which separator is missing. If there is adequate space between those teeth, you may not need a special appointment.
Lost retainer - Your retainer holds your teeth and roots in place after the active tooth-moving appliance is removed. Please contact us immediately for a special appointment to make a new retainer to prevent your teeth from becoming crooked again (relapse).
Allergies - Although it is very rare, some people may have allergic reactions to materials used in an orthodontic practice. If you have any known allergies, or suspect an allergic reaction, it is important that you alert our office immediately.

Other Dental Emergencies:
If some other type of dental emergency occurs such as a laceration, puncture wound, a broken or chipped tooth, a tooth knocked out or out of place, contact us or your family dentist as soon as possible - preferably within the first 30 minutes. Do not try to force back displaced teeth or attempt to place a tooth back in its socket, as you could cause further damage.

If you have any doubts, concerns, or questions about your orthodontic treatment, please call us right away.


This health article is made available by
Dr. Michael L Stepovich DDS a Orthodontist. Orthodontic office at 4110 Moorpark Ave, San Jose, CA 95117. Dr. Stepovich is easy reachable from all of San Jose, Santa Clara, Los Gatos, Monte Sereno, Saratoga, Cupertino, Campbell, Milpitas, and Mountain View.
Dr. Michael L Stepovich DDS is rewarding children for Good Deeds performed via our
Good Deed Contest Win a computer!
Ask our Orthodontic office about the next prize giving
and click here for enrollment!
State of The Art Orthodontic Care One Patient At a Time
"Excellent Orthodontic Treatment Maintained For A Lifetime
For Patients That Refer Other Patients To Our Office."

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