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Welcome to our
Specialist, orthodontic centre

What to do in an Orthodontic emergency

Discomfort

Orthodontic therapy uses appliances to move the teeth with gentle pressure. When braces are placed, or when adjustments are made, your teeth and gums may feel tender initially. The amount of discomfort varies from patient to patient, but usually does not last for more than two or three days.

To relieve your discomfort, you may take pain relievers while you adjust to your new braces.

If your discomfort lasts for more than a normal amount of time, please contact us to speak to a member of our team who can advise you further.

Orthodontic emergency

Irritation of Lips or Cheeks

Sometimes new braces can be irritating to the mouth, especially when eating. A small amount of non-medicinal relief wax makes an excellent buffer between metal and mouth. Simply pinch off a small piece and roll it into a ball the size of a small pea. Flatten the ball and place it completely over the area of the braces causing irritation. You may then eat more comfortably. If the wax is accidentally ingested, it's not a problem. The wax is harmless.

Mouth Sores

Some patients are susceptible to episodes of mouth sores. While braces do not cause them, they may be precipitated or exacerbated by an irritation from braces. One or several areas of ulceration of the cheeks, lips or tongue may appear. This is not an emergency but can be very uncomfortable. Prompt relief may be achieved by applying a small amount of topical aesthetic (such as Oral relief) directly to the ulcerated surface using a cotton swab.

Wire irritations

Sometimes discomfort caused by a wire on your braces can be resolved by putting some orthodontic wax onto it.

Protruding Wire

Occasionally, the end of a wire will work itself out of place and irritate the mouth. If the wire cannot be moved into a comfortable position, cover it with relief wax. (See Irritation of Cheeks or Lips above for instructions on applying relief wax.) If you cannot resolve the wire irritation, please contact us during normal working hours to arrange a wire trim.

Lost Wire or Ligature

Tiny rubber bands or small, fine wires, known as ligatures, hold the wire to the bracket. If a rubber or wire ligature is lost please contact us during normal working hours to arrange a repair.

Loose brackets or bands

If the braces have come loose in any way, you should contact us during normal working hours to arrange a repair.

A bracket is knocked off

Brackets are the parts of braces attached to teeth with a special adhesive. They are generally positioned in the centre of each tooth. The bracket can be knocked off if you have eaten one of those hard or crunchy foods orthodontic patients are instructed to avoid. Brackets can also be knocked off, if the mouth is struck whilst at play. We advise all patients to wear a protective mouth guards whilst playing sports.

If you have knocked a bracket off, you should contact us during normal working hours to arrange a repair.

Out of Hours Emergency Treatment

If you have a serious problem out of our normal working hours with your brace, a major breakage causing severe pain and discomfort please p contact us on 0208 303 6836 and listen to the message on our answer phone. Call the emergency number provided if first aid measures are unable to alleviate the pain.