So you're at the movies with your best friend and he's eating a big bucket of popcorn by himself. The temptation is too much, so you grab a handful. Next thing you know, you've got a wire twisted out and poking your cheek. Or maybe you're at your softball game and you're chugging down a cold drink. You accidentally bite down on a piece of ice and feel a pop. Your molar brace is loose and flopping around back there scratching your cheek.
DON'T PANIC! The first thing you need to do is look for your wax packet so you can roll a ball of wax over the wire or bracket to save your cheek. Okay, so you didn't bring the wax with you but no worries. Dig through your mom's purse until you find a piece of sugarless gum. (Or maybe you could ask the nice lady sitting next to you at the movies.) Chew up the gum and pinch a little piece off to use just like you would a piece of wax. Now mind you, the operative word here is SUGARLESS! We don't want you putting a bunch of sugary gum on your tooth and leaving it there all day. That would not be good for your teeth.
When you get home you can ask mom or dad to clip your wire off. If you need to remove the loose bracket, have them clip the wire behind the next bracket over. The easiest way to do this is to have them get a q-tip and a small wire cutter. They can use a nail clipper in place of the wire cutter just make sure you wash either one thoroughly before use. They'll use the q-tip to hold the cheek out and clip the wire, then they can use the q-tip to sweep the piece of wire out of your mouth. Comfortable now? Great! Your next step is to call the office and leave a message with your name and phone number. We'll call you back and schedule an appointment to have your brace put back on. You're in the clear.
We don't have many true emergencies in Orthodontics. Mom or dad can usually fix you up at home. If they have trouble, or are not sure what to do, they can call the office and a message will direct them to our emergency line. We have a technician on call who can usually walk them through a fix right over the phone. There are times that you may need to be seen outside of office hours. For instance, you try to get food out of your expander and pull it loose or maybe you get hit in the face while you're playing and you need some help. The technician on call will be glad to meet you at the office to take care of you. On the rare occasion that the on call tech can't handle the situation alone, she'll call Dr Eric or Dr Larry who will be happy to come to the rescue. We've got your back!