What Is An Orthodontic Emergency?

ortho emergencies girlEmergency orthodontic treatment corrects any issues with your braces or orthodontic appliance that are causing excess discomfort and repairs any damage. When it comes to orthodontic emergencies and knowing what to do, the first essential step is being able to identify what an emergency looks and feels like.

When you’re going through orthodontic treatment, you’re bound to experience some soreness, discomfort, or aches while your teeth are moving into their new ideal positioning to create your brand new smile. 

Use our guide below to help you determine what kind of emergency you have on your hands and what you should do. If you have any questions or something that requires special attention with the braces, we have on call personnel available 7 days a week. In order to access this, simply call the office and the voice message will give the number for the on call person. Don’t hesitate to contact one of our offices, and we’ll help you get all of the information you need.  

Emergencies & Solutions

Fortunately, the vast majority of orthodontic problems are minor. A minor problem can cause some discomfort or irritation. Until your appointment, there are ways that you can sooth any discomfort right from home. Here are a few of the more common orthodontic problems, along with some solutions on what you can do for relief at home.

Loose or broken brackets, bands or wires

Your braces aren’t indestructible, and food is most often the culprit of causing some minor damage. Particularly, hard or sticky foods can easily damage your braces, which we also mention in our braces friendly food guide. If any part of your braces becomes loose or breaks, here’s what to do: Call our office to find out if you can wait until your next scheduled appointment for the repair or if you should come in sooner.

If the band or bracket is still attached to the archwire, just leave it as is.  Do not try connect any elastics to it, and absolutely do not try to pull it off. If it is causing any irritation, you can use some orthodontic wax to cover it. If the bracket or band comes off completely, made sure you keep it and bring it with you when you come in for your appointment.  

Misplaced or poking archwire, bracket or tie

As the teeth start to move, it’s common for the wire that connects them to begin poking near the back of your mouth or irritating the cheeks. If you start to notice this, contact us and schedule and appointment right away.

While waiting for your appointment, you can try moving the wire into a better position, but make sure that you move it slowly and gently. Instead of trying to use your fingers, you can use a pencil eraser, Q-tip, or even a small pair of tweezers. If the wire won’t move, you can either try to cover the ends of the wire with orthodontic wax to ease the discomfort, or try to cut the wire. If you want to attempt to cut it, make sure you call our offices before trying for guidance and instructions.

General tooth pain or loosening

When you’re going through orthodontic treatment, it’s very common to feel that your teeth are loose or tender. These are actually good things, since it means that your teeth are moving to their new positions to create your new smile! Usually, you will feel this discomfort when you first get your braces, or when they get adjusted.

To alleviate the pain, your normal over-the-counter pain relievers will usually do the trick. Rinsing your mouth with some salt water can help provide relief for mouth ulcers, and all you need is an 8 ounce glass of warm water mixed with just one teaspoon of salt. Topical numbing solutions such as Ora-base are also helpful to alleviate ulcer pain.

Contact One Of Our Offices

While actual emergencies are rare, if you think that you have an emergency on your hands, don’t hesitate to contact your local White, Greer & Maggard Orthodontics office and schedule an appointment. You will receive passionate and professional care regardless of your emergency need. If you have any questions about orthodontic emergencies or how to take care of them at home, we will be happy to help.