Patient comfort throughout orthodontic care is our primary concern. Even though you are careful, you may occasionally do some damage to your appliances. Dr. Doppel and the entire team want you to be informed in recognizing uncommon issues that may occur, and to understand how to solve them, at least temporarily, until it is possible to return to our office.

Different parts of braces.
How to identify the different parts of braces.

Loose band or bracket: If a band or bracket comes loose from the tooth, please call our office so we can determine if an extra appointment is needed or if repair can be done at the next scheduled appointment.
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Broken arch wire: If a main arch wire breaks, call our office so we can schedule an appointment to replace the arch wire.

Wire out of tube: Using a pair of tweezers, try to insert the wire back into the tube. Use wax in that area if there is any discomfort. Please call our office so we can determine if an extra appointment is needed.

Irritation in Mouth: Sometimes new braces can be irritating to the mouth, especially while eating. A small amount of 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. If the wax is accidentally ingested it’s not a problem. The wax is harmless.
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Poking wire: Try to tuck the wire back in and out of the way with the blunt end of a toothbrush, a pencil eraser or a Q-tip. If your cheek is irritated in that area, cover the wire with wax. If you are unable to take care of a poking wire, call our office for an appointment.
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Lost Ligature (colored elastic) or wire tie: The loss of a ligature (colored elastic) or a wire tie will not cause discomfort. Please call our office so that it can be replaced at your earliest convenience.
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Lost Spacer: If a spacer (small elastic in between teeth) comes out please call the office so that we can determine if an extra appointment is needed. If a patient arrives with missing spacers and no phone call was made, the scheduled treatment frequently needs to be re-scheduled. For your convenience, always call ahead of the appointment.

Soreness: Some soreness during treatment is to be expected. Warm salt-water rinses and over-the-counter pain medication can be helpful. If you have any concerns or questions regarding the degree of soreness being experienced, please feel free to call.

Accidents involving teeth/Direct injuries to mouth: Following a direct injury to the mouth, you should attempt to contact your family dentist. Please call our office after seeing your family dentist or if you are unable to reach that office.

Appointment Times: Please understand that although we try to keep a variety of times available for comfort care appointments our goal is to take care of whatever is causing the discomfort as soon as possible. The appointment time we are able to offer may not be at your “ideal” time and we ask for your understanding.

Ways That You Can Help

We understand that when something is causing discomfort you want to have it taken care of as soon as possible. That is our goal as well. There are a few ways that you can help us with that goal and we ask that you read the following information carefully:

  • Prior to calling the office please study the diagram and be sure that you understand, to the best of your ability, what part of the appliance has come loose, is broken or is causing the discomfort. If you are calling on behalf of your child, please try to ask them questions to clarify what is causing the discomfort. We want to schedule the correct amount of time so that we can be of the most help possible.
  • PLEASE call before showing up at the office. There is often something we can tell you to do over the phone to get comfortable right away and schedule an appointment at a time when there is adequate time to fix the entire problem.
  • Parents, please encourage your children to tell you if there is anything loose or broken PRIOR to their appointment. The last thing that we want to do is to have to schedule a second appointment when if you call ahead we can simply find a longer appointment and do all the work in one visit.

We want orthodontic care to be as convenient as possible for you, including these unforeseen comfort issues.