Orthodontic Emergency Care is provided by Robinson + Ries Orthodontics in Columbia, Missouri. Before calling Robinson and Ries Orthodontics with a problem, ask yourself: Is this an emergency? True orthodontic emergencies are rare. Although we are glad to help, this summary makes it easy to learn more about your appliance, how to solve small problems, and avoid unnecessary trips to our office.

Issues You Can Take Care of Yourself:

  • Sore teeth. For the first few days following an adjustment, it is normal for your teeth to be tender. You may take whatever pain reliever you normally use for a headache. After a few days, the soreness should go away. Pain not related to adjustments is unusual and not expected. Be sure to see your general dentist regularly throughout treatment for cavity prevention.
  • Poking wire or bracket. Roll a piece of wax into a ball and press it onto the part that’s poking you. Try to keep the wax dry prior to placing it. The wax will come off frequently, so keep a supply with you.
  • Broken wire. Press the wire toward your teeth with a pencil eraser. If you are unable to push the wire out of the way, try cutting the part that is sticking out with wire cutters or a large fingernail clipper.
  • Small cuts. To help a cut heal, rinse your mouth with a mixture of 1 teaspoon of salt and 1 cup of warm water. Peroxyl, which you can buy over the counter, also is an excellent rinse to clean the cut and promote healing.

Let Robinson & Ries help during regular business hours if:

  • An appliance breaks
  • A piece of an appliance is loose
  • An appliance gets lost
  • An appliance does not fit properly

Call Robinson & Ries Orthodontics right away if:

  • A broken appliance prevents the mouth from opening or closing.
  • Pain from an appliance is still felt even after taking over-the-counter pain relievers.

If you incur a serious face or mouth injury, call your emergency number first (911), then call us.

Tips to prevent problems

Dr. Robinson and Dr. Ries are here to help you. Please follow their instructions about proper wear and care. But here are some general tips that will help prevent problems:

  • Don’t play rough while wearing headgear or any other removable appliance.
  • If you wear braces, don’t eat foods that are hard, sticky, crunchy, or chewy. Avoid candy, gum, nuts, and corn on the cob. Cut raw carrots or apples into small pieces.
  • Don’t pick at or pull on braces even if it makes your teeth feel better.
  • Don’t flick your retainer around with your tongue, it will break!
  • Remove retainers and wear a mouthguard when playing sports.
  • Remember, broken appliances will slow down your treatment!

Appliance Damage

Even the most careful patients may occasionally damage their appliances.

  • Loose Band or Bracket. Call our office during normal business hours. While a tight band actually protects a tooth from decay, a loose band can trap food particles, quickly leading to decay.  Keep all the parts and bring them in when you come back to our office.
  • Stickers. “Stickers” are small wires that have broken or shifted out of place, which can “stick” into mouth tissue, causing discomfort. If the sticker is a wire tie around a bracket that has come loose, you may carefully remove it. The attached stickers often can be safely turned down at home using a pencil eraser or some other smooth object.
  • Broken Archwire. If the main archwire breaks (the one that goes all the way around the outside of your braces) call for an appointment.
  • Missing Metal or Elastic Ligature. This may or may not be an emergency. Please call our office.
  • Lost or Broken Retainer. Phone our office during normal business hours. Your teeth will move without a retainer, especially if your appliances were recently removed. Don’t take any chances.