540.722.6700

Emergencies   540-722-6700

Broken band or bracket (moderately serious)

Broken Bracket     Broken Bracket     Broken Clear Bracket 

Cause:  Eating hard or sticky candy, chewing gum or pencils and pens, sports injuries, accidents.

Solution:  Call the office and schedule a repair appointment as soon as possible. 

 

Broken (rubber band tie) K-tie (not serious)

Cause:  Eating hard or sticky candy, chewing gum or pencils and pens, sports injuries, accidents, normal wearing of rubber bands.

Solution:  Call the office and schedule a repair appointment at your convenience.

 

Loose (rubber band tie) K-tie (not serious)

Cause:  Normal elastic wear, not a problem; no intervention needed unless the K-tie comes off.

 

Wore Poking

Wire Poking 

Cause:  Wire shifting in the mouth. 

Solution:  Clip the wire with a small wire cutter or call the office and schedule a repair appointment at your convenience.

 

Bleeding gum tissue or gum tissue that is overgrowing the braces (not serious if a short-term problem. May become serious if it becomes a long-term problem)

Insufficient Oral Hygiene

Cause:  Unhealthy gum tissue bleeds due to insufficient tooth brushing and insufficient flossing.

Solution:  The gum tissue can be healed by better and more frequent tooth brushing and flossing.  Rinsing one or more times per day using a fluoride mouthwash is also helpful.  Click here to view brushing techniques.

 

Mild or moderately sore teeth (normal)

Cause:  Teeth may be mildly to moderately sore when the braces are first placed, and they may be mildly sore for several days following an adjustment.  Adults usually experience more tooth soreness than children.

Solution:  Tylenol or Advil or whatever medication that you would take for a headache.  Please check with your physician as to which medication is appropriate for you.

 

Severely sore teeth (serious)

Cause:  There are many varied causes of severe dental pain, such as dental abscesses, fractured teeth, tooth decay and gum tissue disease.

Solution:  Call Dr. Staggers immediately to schedule an appointment for today.

 

Sore or irritated checks, tongue or lips (normal)

Cause:  New braces may rub or irritate the check, lips or tongue for several days.

Solution:  Using wax on the braces may help while your mouth gets use to the new braces.  Using over-the-counter teething gel on sore areas is also helpful.

 Wax On Brackets

 

Lost or broken appliance or retainer (moderately serious)

Solution:  Call Dr. Staggers' office as soon as possible to schedule a replacement appointment.

 

Broken permanent retainer (moderately serious)

Broken Permanent Retainer 

Solution:  Call Dr. Staggers' office as soon as possible to schedule a replacement appointment.

 

Lost rubber bands (not serious)

Solution: Call Dr. Staggers' office as soon as possible so that replacement elastics can be mailed to you or stop by the office during normal business hours to pick up a new bag of rubber bands.

 

Loose teeth (normal)

Cause:  Teeth will be mildly loose during orthodontic treatment.  Adults usually experience more looseness than children.

Solution:  The teeth will tighten up after the braces are removed.

 

Teeth knocked loose, displaced or totally out of the mouth (very serious)

Cause:  Sport accidents, fighting

Solution:  Call Dr. Staggers' office immediately for recommendations.  Time is a critical factor when trying to save a knocked-out tooth.  If a permanent tooth is totally out of the mouth, replace it back into the tooth socket immediately.  If this is not possible, place the tooth in milk and transport the patient to the nearest dental care facility.  Teeth that have been out of the mouth for more than one hour have a poor chance of survival.

 

Having trouble making a turn made on a rapid palatal expansion appliance RPE 

Solution:  CLICK HERE  and CLICK HERE to see two demonstration videos of making an RPE turn.  Please be patient, it may take one to two minutes to load the videos depending on how fast your computer is and the type of internet connection that you are using.

 

Have made some turns on the rapid palatal expansion appliance RPE, but now can't find the key hole

CLICK HERE to see a demonstration video of fixing the problem. Please be patient, it may take one to two minutes to load the videos depending on how fast your computer is and the type of Internet connection that you are using.

 

Pressure felt following turn made on a rapid palatal expansion appliance RPE (normal)

Cause:  Normal occurrence following the first few turns made on an RPE.  The teeth may be mildly sore for a few days following placement of the appliance. 

Solution:  Tylenol or Advil or whatever medication that you would take for a headache.  Please check with your physician as to which medication is appropriate for you.

 

Pain felt following turn made on a rapid palatal expansion appliance RPE (serious)

Solution:  Call Dr. Staggers immediately to schedule an appointment for today.

 

Can't find the next hole following turn made on a rapid palatal expansion appliance RPE (not serious)

Cause:  Not making a complete turn or pulling the key forward to remove it after making the turn.

Solution:  Call Dr. Staggers and schedule an appointment to reset the hole.

 

A large space has developed between the upper front teeth as a result of making turns on a rapid palatal expansion appliance RPE (normal)

Space Resulting From RPE

Cause:  As the expansion appliance is widened, the upper front teeth are moved apart.

Solution:  No action is necessary since this is a normal part of widening the upper jaw.  After all turns are made, the teeth will drift together in a few weeks and close the space.

 

Retainer or removable appliance is rubbing a sore spot on the gum tissue (not serious)

Solution:  Call Dr. Staggers and schedule an appointment to adjust your retainer/appliance.

 

Cannot figure out how to wear the elastic rubber bands (not serious)

Solution:  Call Dr. Staggers and ask how to wear the elastics (class II, class III, midline, etc.).  Make sure that you wear the correct-size elastics.  Sizes are usually designated by countries (Switzerland, Japan, etc.) or animals (Bear, Whale) on the elastics' package.  Be sure to use the correct elastics size.  Do not borrow elastics from other people since they may be the wrong size.  Most orthodontic elastics look similar, but they can be very different is strength.  Using the wrong elastics can DAMAGE YOUR TEETH.  Do NOT double-up elastics to make up for lack of wear since this can DAMAGE YOUR TEETH.

Class II elastics: From the lower back teeth to the upper front teeth (pictured below)

Class II Elastics

 

Class III elastics: From the lower front teeth to the upper back teeth (pictured below)

Class III Elastics

 

Midline elastics: From one side of the lower front teeth (right or left depending on the location of the elastic hook) to the opposite side of the upper front teeth (pictured below)

Midline Elastic

 

V elastics: From the one side of the upper teeth to the same side of the lower teeth and back to the upper teeth (pictured below)

V-Elastics                V-Elastics

 

Through-the-bite elastics: From the outside of the upper teeth to the inside of the lower teeth (pictured below) 

ThruBiteElastic

 

Terminology

 

AppliancesParts

 

 Aligners not fully seating or a gap is present between the aligner and the teeth  (can be serious if left unchecked) 

Aligner Not Seating     Aligner Not Seating

Cause:  There are many reasons for this.  The most likely cause is insufficient wear of the aligner or the aligner is not seated all of the way on the teeth.

Solution:  Call Dr. Staggers and schedule an appointment to have your aligners checked.

3052 Valley Ave., Suite 100
Winchester, VA 22601