Emergency Info

Orthodontic emergencies.When you first get your braces from our Johannesburg office, it will take you a bit of time to get used to them. It’s also common for your teeth to feel sore and sensitive for the first few days and following your adjustment appointments with Dr. Choonara. However, it is uncommon to have a true emergency with your braces, but we want our patients to be prepared for any situation that may arise.

If something does go wrong with your braces, the first thing to do is determine how serious the problem is. Do you need to visit Dr. Choonara right away or can you solve the problem yourself? Here’s some information about handling problems with your braces that should help you know what to do if something does go wrong.

Major Emergencies

If you experience a major emergency like serious trauma or injury, infection, swelling or pain that is severe and unmanageable, go to the nearest emergency room for treatment. You may be told by the personnel at the emergency room that you will need to be seen by your dentist. Once you’ve handled your emergency, Dr. Choonara can adjust your treatment plan if necessary.

Common Minor Problems

Fortunately, most problems that can happen with your braces are minor. However, they can still cause you some irritation or discomfort. Here are some of the most common problems with braces, along with some useful tips for solving them right at home.

Loose or broken brackets, bands or wires: These types of problems are often caused by eating hard or sticky foods or playing with your braces. If the band or bracket is still attached to the wire, leave it as it is and don’t attach any elastics to it! You can cover it with orthodontic wax if it’s irritating the inside of your mouth. If it has come off completely, try to save it. In either case, call our office so we can schedule a visit. Be sure to bring any loose parts with you to the appointment!

Misplaced or poking archwire, bracket or tie: It’s common for an archwire to start irritating the inside of your cheek as your teeth move. If this happens, use a pencil eraser or Q-tip to move the wire to a better position. If a misplaced tie is bothering you, use tweezers to gently move it into a more comfortable position. When a bracket is causing irritation, cover the irritating part with orthodontic wax. If you still need help solving these common problems, give us a call and we’ll tell you what to do.

General tooth discomfort or loosening: As your braces are working to move your teeth, it’s common to feel like your teeth are loose so don’t panic! It’s also common to feel some general tooth discomfort and/or tenderness and especially right after getting your braces on and following your adjustment appointments.

You can take an over-the-counter pain reliever to help with any discomfort you feel. It can also be helpful to rinse your mouth out twice a day with warm salt water. Just mix one teaspoon of salt in warm water and swish it around your mouth for 30 seconds before spitting it out. Another way to deal with discomfort is to place a warm washcloth or heating pad on the outside of your jaw.

Contact Your Johannesburg Orthodontist

Now that you know how to handle the most common problems that can happen with your braces, you should feel confident that your treatment will run smoothly. If you need more advice or have questions about your treatment, give us a call at (011) 678-8090 so we can help. You can also complete an appointment request form online if you need to schedule your next visit.