How to Deal with Orthodontic Emergencies

Oh no! Something’s gone wrong with your braces. You’ve invested all this time and money into getting a healthy, straight smile, and now it seems like all that hard work may be derailed
A true orthodontic emergency may be rare, but there is always the chance that something unfortunate could happen. If you find yourself in any kind of orthodontic mishap, give us a call, tell us what happened, and schedule a visit within the next few days. Your braces will be good as new before you know it.

(And don’t worry; a day or two with a bracket or wire won’t be detrimental to your overall treatment.)

When you are new to wearing braces, you may find that your mouth is sort for a few days. This is a normal part of treatment, and it should ease up in a week or so. You’ll have similar soreness when you come in to get wires tightened. This is a normal part of the process, and in time you’ll get used to it. If you are really bothered by it, an over-the-counter pain reliever should be able to help you feel better.

Loose Bracket
If your bracket has come loose, it is likely you can leave it in place. Try to keep it from sliding around by covering it with orthodontic wax. If it is twisted or sticking out, gently push it back into place with your fingers or tweezers before applying the wax. If it’s really bothersome, you may want to remove it, but that is a last resort. Remove the o-ring and slide it out from under the wire.

Lost Bracket
You couldn’t resist eating crunchy food, could you? While the bracket does need to be replaced, but there’s no need for panic. If you can find it, Call our office and explain what happened. We’ll let you know if you need to come in immediately, but it’s much more likely that we’ll schedule you to come in within the next few days.

Wire or Ligature Poking You
Wires often slide out of place and cause scratches and sores on your lips and cheeks. There are a number of ways this can be treated. The wire can be covered with orthodontic wax to help protect your mouth from further damage. If this isn’t enough, try pushing it back into place with a pencil eraser, and hook it under the archwire to keep it in place. It may also be possible to work the wire back into place with the help of tweezers, but don’t forget to sterilize them first. We don’t recommend cutting the wire, as you may end up causing more harm than good.

Real Emergencies
If you find yourself in any of these situations, it is considered a true orthodontic emergency. Don’t wait to get help. Call us right away if any of these things happen.

Loose, Broken, or Lost Tooth
If you got into an accident and your teeth were injured, we will need to see you right away. The wires from your braces add tension that can cause further damage to your mouth. These kinds of injuries are commonly caused by playing sports. If you are an athlete, a specialized mouthguard that fits over your braces can be made available to help prevent oral injuries.

Allergic Reactions to Metal or Elastic
In some cases, soreness occurs when you’re not due for an adjustment. If you are experiencing something like this without any apparent reason, it could be an indication that you are allergic to the metal in the braces or the elastic in the bands. There are alternative materials that can be used to complete your orthodontic treatment, but first we will have to remove whatever is causing your reaction.

If you’re not sure if your situation is an emergency or not, play it safe. Call our office and tell us what’s happening, and we’ll advise you on the best plan of action. After all, at Brodsky Orthodontics, we’re partners in your treatment, and a partner should never feel shy about asking for help.